From Autosport: some doting words from a loving grandfather:
"This year Marco had his debut in the IRL, he started it a rookie and ended it a man," Mario was quoted as saying by Gazzetta Dello Sport…"He was so smart and so patient to win the race," Mario said. "He drove well above his age, but he did that all year."Also, some confusing words from a loving grandfather:
"I have a desire to put him at the wheel of an F1 car sooner or later," he said. "If the invitations will come, I'm sure he'll consider them."Now, I understand that Formula One racing is still considered by many to be the pinnacle of auto racing, and there is nothing wrong with aiming for the top. But does Mario not remember what happened to his son Michael when he went to Formula One? It was only 13 years ago, but let’s refresh.
In 1993 and to much fanfare, Michael left CART to join the highly competitive McLaren team. This would be akin to the Ganassi team today inasmuch as it was one of two two-car teams (along with Williams) which had a solid shot at victory on race day. Michael’s teammate was the late Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian sensation who would win five of 16 races in 1993 but finish second in the championship to rival and former McLaren teammate Alain Prost.
Michael, however, was not nearly as successful. He completed three laps in his first three races and managed but a single podium in Monza, his 13th race. The finish was unimpressive, as McLaren fired him before the end of the season and replaced him with Mikka Hakkinen.
Take a moment to consider all the great American drivers in the last 25 years of Formula One racing…OK, you’re done. There are none. Not Eddie Cheever, not Scott Speed, not Danny Sullivan, and certainly not Michael Andretti. Anyone with any eyes can see that the likelihood of Marco succeeding in F1 is pretty much zip.
Perhaps is Ferrari comes knocking Marco might have a chance to stake a claim as a solid American F1 driver, but realistically you have to ask if it’s worth it. Right now Marco may be the second most recognizable face in American open-wheel racing, but if he goes to Formula One he becomes practically invisible in his homeland. Considering the minimal probability of success in F1, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to just throw away his current momentum for the folly of competing in Bernie Ecclestone’s hyper-political series.
I’m not telling Mario or Marco what to do; I’m just trying jog their Manly memories.