Ferrari president and CEO Sergio Marchionne was quick to congratulate Sebastian Vettel on his victory in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, saying it was “about time” the Italan manufacturer won again in Formula 1.
Vettel fought from second on the grid to leapfrog Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton through the pit stops and win the opening race of the 2017 season by almost 10 seconds.
The result marked Ferrari’s first victory since the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix, and the team leads the constructors’ championship for the first time since the start of 2013.
“It was about time,” Marchionne said in a statement issued after the race.
“I am delighted for the team and for our Tifosi who stood by us throughout this whole period. We’ve been waiting for this victory for almost a year and a half. Hearing the Italian national anthem again was very moving.
“Sebastian delivered a great race and I am sure Kimi [Raikkonen, P4] will be soon up there battling alongside his teammate.
“Of course, this victory is something to share with the entire team, both at the circuit and back in Maranello, because teamwork is the only way to achieve major goals.
“Now, however, it is absolutely essential to remember that this is not the destination but the first step on a long road that must see us all focused on improving each and every day.”
Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).
So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.
Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.
“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.
“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”
The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.
Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.
Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago: