Motorsport legend Mario Andretti says that he is excited about what the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES has in store this year following one of the most chaotic starts to a season in years. Speaking exclusively to Paddock Eye on Wednesday afternoon, Andretti said he was happy with how Andretti Autosport executed things throughout the St Pete weekend up until the issues that they had in the race but that it was, undoubtedly, a promising start to the season that he hopes they can build on going into the next race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Speaking about six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES veteran Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing, who equaled Mario’s all-time top 5 results in St Petersburg at 193, Mario joked that he didn’t match it as he has 195 top-five finishes in the series and that the statisticians need to double check the numbers (laughs). Andretti said, however, that records are there to be broken. He said you have to look at Michael Schumacher and what he did in Formula One and that no one ever thought anyone would come close to matching him, and that is precisely what Lewis Hamilton has done.
Looking ahead to the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 and the return of Katherine Legge, who will compete for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing for the first time since 2013, Andretti told us that he does not doubt that she will be highly competitive from the moment she gets on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway because she is with a great team.
When it comes to the young drivers coming up the ranks in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Andretti says that he feels that Kyle Kirkwood, who is with their team, will do well with them this year but also mentioned David Malukas at Dale Coyne Racing and what he did in St Louis last season when he overtook Team Penske’s, Scott Mclaughlin.
Speaking to Paddock Eye about the situation with Michael’s bid to enter Formula One as a team owner, Mario said they are going through the process and will see how it goes.
Speaking about George Russell, Andretti says he is impressed with how the Englishman adapted from racing with the Williams team in what must have been challenging to compete for the Mercedes F1 Team alongside Lewis Hamilton and for podiums and the championship.
Andretti also believes that the NTT INDYCAR SERIES is healthy and competitive. The only thing you can predict is how exciting and entertaining the racing will be, given the current depth of talent in the series. Reflecting on the past, Andretti said he had a wonderful time competing for Newman Haas Racing. Andretti drove for the team from 1983 through to 1994 and said that at the time, it was the longest-tenured partnership in racing at that time, and he was delighted to have been able to call Paul Newman a friend.
Andretti revealed that he put Paul Newman in touch with Carl Haas to form the partnership that established Newman Haas Racing. Mario said how much fun he had racing for Paul Newman. The pair won the 1984 CART series together, with Andretti claiming six victories.