Mario Andretti Refuses To Slow Down, The World Champion's Racing Days Aren't Over

Jan 02, 2017 08:06 AM EST | Ileen Jasmine

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Mario Andretti is the country's only living World Champion. At 76, Andretti refuses to be slowed down by father time.

Andretti was originally born in Montona, Italy in February of 1940. His life story was an interesting one. At the age of 15, the soon-to-be World Champion immigrated to the United States along with his family.

Four years later, 19-year-old Andretti was racing stock cars in Pennsylvania. This was the beginning of his racing days until he went ahead and moved to larger competitions. Now, decades later, he is a one of the most successful and recognized driver in history.

This man is a cultural legend, and almost every driver in today's racing industry wants to be on the same level as the 76-year-old World Champ. The list of his improvements is nothing short of spectacular. From winning the Daytona 500 back in 1967 to the Indy 500 in '69.

Andretti was one of the only two Americans to become the Formula 1 World Champion back in 1978. That's not all, he also became a four-time IndyCar champion. The man was also a Factory driver for several huge car companies such as Ferrari, Lotus, and Ford.

This is just a short list of his achievements. Today, Andretti can still be seen driving at the tracks. He is everything any racecar driver aspires to be. One of those people is Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel is a current driver for Ferrari, and although his statistics have slowed down since he switched to the Italian team back in 2015, Andretti is confident Vettel will remain where he is.

In an interview with Omnisport, Andretti revealed what he thought of the rumors surrounding Vettel's contract negotiations with other teams. I would love to see Vettel win a championship with Ferrari because I think he really wants to be there. "It's been his dream to be there because Michael [Schumacher] was his hero and he's a bit frustrated obviously because things are the way they are at the moment.

The world champion added "He gets along well with Kimi [Raikkonen], which is important as a team, but he's showing his frustration a bit, you can tell, because he feels that it could be better. But he belongs there and I think everyone would like to see him be successful with Ferrari.

"I am one of those. I am a fan of his in every way. He expressed that to me a long time ago when he first came into the ranks of F1 that that's what he'd like to be and I think he's where he wants to be." He continued.

In another interview with another racing magazine, Andretti also opened up and talk about personal feelings about the industry today. When asked whether or not he misses racing, the 76-year-old could only answer,

My wife will tell you, she'll say, "When are you going to grow up, Mario?" I can never have enough. It's why I'm doing this [gestures at surroundings].

This keeps things going. I mean, it's not racing. The car that I normally drive is quite a bit faster than the car I'm driving today, but I ... I love my driving so much.

Andretti also talked about his son and their recent experience on the track. Apparently, the father and son duo recently did some high-speed testing at Cape Canaveral. The world champion looked over the moon as he relays the story of how we did 1400 miles within five days, and how it was all over 200mph.

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