NTT IndyCar Series legend and 1969 Indianapolis 500 champion Mario Andretti says that the thing that makes the Indianapolis 500 so special is the tradition.
Speaking to Paddock Eye on Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Andretti asked how many sporting events can say they have been around for 106 years.
‘It has been the crown jewel event of IndyCar forever, and you can see the interest this event generates, and you can see it for the practice today you can’t get in. It’s amazing how good that is and we feed from that. It is unfair how this place has more riding on it than the championship.
Being at the track for a month gives you the time to prepare for it and if you aren’t ready for it is your fault.
Speaking about Jimmie Johnson, Andretti says he was impressed with him on the ovals and after talking with him, Andretti confirmed he had a fuel issue and had to slow down otherwise he would have been on the podium and he expects Johnson to be strong here on Sunday.
Johnson is satisfying himself and Andretti loves that because it is pure passion. When it comes to Romain Grosjean he is in a spec series in the same equipment and from a driver stand point in F1 you are driving for Ferrari or Mercedes but he can compete in IndyCar.
I have been impressed with how he (Grosjean) has adapted well to the ovals even here especially. The racecraft is something else, I think he has to be a bit careful about that with some of the moves he has made and it can be a huge problem at the Speedway and he has to come to grips with that.
Grosjean has embraced the team and he is happy and Andretti is happy with that. Speaking about Marco Andretti, he says he is there just as an advisor and he is proud of the family.
When it comes to Michael Andretti’s Formula One team ownership ambitions, Mario told us that Michael wants to be there and there is a long-term commitment from investors, planning up to ten years, it is not a fling.
Andretti confirmed that the team is a little despondent having heard nothing back yet but that the FIA wants the deal to happen.
We are working on it and just saying wait and see.