F1 legend Mario Andretti is set to saddle a modern McLaren F1 car ahead of this year's US Grand Prix at Austin, according to McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown.
Andretti attended last weekend's inaugural Miami Grand Prix and happened to be standing alongside Brown and fellow motorsport icon Emerson Fittipaldi during Martin Brundle's grid-walk.
The Sky F1 commentator asked Andretti - who at 82 still thrills guests onboard IndyCar's two-seater -if he could handle a modern-day Grand Prix contender. Unsurprisingly, the 1978 F1 world champion replied that he would be game.
"I’d get in one if they’d allow me," he said. "It’s been on my bucket-list for quite a while before I get too old, so I can step over the cockpit."
Brundle then put Brown on the spot, and the McLaren boss whipped up an offer.
"Well, I’ve always wanted Mario Andretti to drive for me, so you know what? I think we’ll give it a go in Austin," said Brown, in front of a beaming Super Mario
"But we’ll have to figure out some sort of bet, because that’s what I do with my drivers."
Earlier this week, Brown confirmed the impromptu deal on social media.
— Zak Brown (@ZBrownCEO) May 10, 2022
"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.
Next October's outing at the Circuit of the Americas will be Andretti's first time onboard a McLaren F1 car, having never raced for the team during his time as Grand Prix driver.