In December 2007, Mario was presented with an FIA Gold Medal by Prince Albert of Monaco. The FIA Gold Medal is awarded to a person who has made a large contribution to motor racing.
Mario will attend the inaugural GPlive event at Donington Park in May, 2007. Mario will join Sir Stirling Moss, Nick Mason and Tim Parnell at the event, which will also see Mario reunited with one of the iconic black-and-gold JPS Lotus machines from the 1970s.
Mario Andretti would like his famous surname to return to the F1 time sheets. His 19-year-old grandson, Marco - whose father Michael raced alongside Ayrton Senna at McLaren in 1993 - finished second in the Indy 500 by a margin of less than one tenth of a second behind Sam Hornish Jr.
Along with his son Michael, Mario owns a Toyota dealership in the Pittsburgh area called "Andretti Toyota".
He has won 12 races in Formula 1 competition, which is the most of any American driver.
Mario became a U.S. citizen in 1964.
Mario is five feet, seven and a half inches tall.
In the animated movie Cars, Mario does the voice of a 1967 Ford Fairlane, which is the car he won the Daytona 500 in.
Mario operates a winery in Napa Valley, California.
Eric Lindros, Rae Dawn Chong and Bernadette Peters were all born on his birthday.
He was born with a twin brother, Aldo Andretti.
He was the 1965 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year.
In 2000, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
In 1967, he won the 12 Hours of Sebring, with teammate Bruce McLaren in a Ford GT40 Mk IV and again in 1972, with Jacky Ickx in a Ferrari 312PB.
Mario was the 1978 Formula One World Champion.
Mario only raced in 14 NASCAR races over 4 years from 1966 to 1969.
In 2000, the Associated Press and RACER magazine named him "Driver of the Century.
In 1990, he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
He was the 1984 CART Series Champion.
Mario was the 1979 IROC Champion.
In 1969, he won the Indianapolis 500.
In 1967, he won the Daytona 500.
Mario Andretti took the pole for his first F1 race at Watkins Glen in 1968
Mario: (after winning the FIA Gold Medal) I was full of pride when I learned I would be the recipient of the FIA Academy gold medal. This is a relatively new award but carries an extremely high level of prestige in motor sport and I'd like to thank the FIA Academy for acknowledging my part in racing history. To receive this gold medal 13 years after my retirement from the sport offers me a wonderful opportunity for reflection. Everyone knows that racing was my work, but also the absolute joy in my life. And it is the ultimate compliment to receive the gold medal, with the FIA Academy members looking back at my years in racing and finding them meaningful and worthy of recognition.
Richard Morgan: (The Gplive event organiser comments on Mario's involvement in 2007) We are absolutely delighted that one of the most popular, approachable and eloquent drivers in the history of the sport has agreed to join GPlive - it is a huge complement to the event in its inaugural year. Perhaps more than any other driver in the sport's history, Mario is a legend and an icon. GPlive is all about meeting your heroes, and Mario is certainly a hero of mine!
Mario: At the next test [for grandson, Marco] I'll come along as well - and in fact I would like to try out a modern F1 car for myself. Yes, the cockpits are tighter nowadays, but I haven't become too wide.
Mario: I guess if Ronnie Peterson was the best team-mate I ever had, Nigel Mansell was the worst. He was a manipulator. He always got what he wanted – undivided attention and better equipment.
I can't blame him for pulling the team around him – and him only – but whenever things went wrong for him, he would instantly start trashing the team. That was so wrong. He was so ungracious.
I had a lot of respect for him as a driver, but not as a man.
Mario (on grandson Marco): He's a road racer at heart. His style and persona would make him a perfect F1 driver – he's aggressive and a quick learner. I see so much within him that would work in Formula One.
Mario (on grandson Marco's F1 ambitions): He can't do it next year but maybe the year after. It would be a waste if he spent a season testing; if you're a special talent and the team give you the right preparation, it can happen. Look at Jacques Villeneuve and Juan Pablo Montoya – Williams gave them thousands of miles of testing over the winter.
Mario: Always compete against the best of the best.
Mario: Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal.
Mario: Do it no matter what. If you believe in it, it is something very honorable. If somebody around you or your family does not understand it, then that's their problem. But if you do have a passion, an honest passion, just do it.
Mario: If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.
Mario: Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs.
Mario: Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal. Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs.
Mario: Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek.
Mario: (on Marco's first performance at Indianapolis) He came so close, I thought he was going to win. Of course, he's got a lot of years left and he's going to get a lot more chances. He has the potential to be the best Andretti of them all.
Mario: (on Marco's first performance at Indianapolis) This is always a very special feeling here. We've got the sequence now. I watched Michael grow right through his career, and now, here I am at the beginning of another one. It's just a special feeling. I'm really happy that I was able to be here. It was very important to me. Marco's reaction today was what I pretty much expected. He was cautiously confident earlier, and then he just started taking charge. That's a good thing.
Mario: (on Marco) He's very much at ease with where he's at and who he is. The jury is still out (with his driving); the ultimate proof is in the races. But as a rookie going in, is he well-prepared? I think so. We don't need someone else to tell us when he's ready. We wouldn't put him out there if we didn't think he was.
Mario: The crashes people remember, but drivers remember the near misses.
Mario Andretti: If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.