1978 world champion Mario Andretti will have the opportunity to drive a McLaren Formula 1 car ahead of this year’s United States Grand Prix at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas, according to McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.
Andretti – who attended the Miami Grand Prix last weekend, along with a host of other celebrities, including David Beckham, Michael Jordan, former First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as two-time F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi – will drive a previous generation McLaren model ahead of the Austin race, although Brown didn’t confirm which one.
“Struck a deal with Mario to tick something off his bucket list – he’ll be driving a previous @McLarenF1 race car at this year’s US GP in Austin,” tweeted Brown.
Despite Andretti being 82 years old, the 12-time Formula 1 race winner has kept his eye in, regularly thrilling guests with laps in a two-seater IndyCar at race events in that series.
Driving a McLaren, meanwhile, will be a unique experience for Andretti, who never raced for the team in his 128 starts in the sport with the likes of Ferrari, Lotus and Parnelli – although his son Michael did embark on an ill-fated half season with the team alongside Ayrton Senna in 1993, before returning to his successful career in the United States.