Andretti's rosso corsa F1 farewell
In 1982, Mario Andretti had only just left Formula 1 when the call came to return. A trio of grands prix with Williams and Ferrari enabled him to sign off his F1 career on a high, as he tells Mark Glendenning
In an alternate universe, Mario Andretti is the 1982 Formula 1 world champion. Instead, that season marked his first year back in North America after a successful, if recently frustrating, career in grand prix racing. At the time he expected his departure from F1 to be a permanent one, but an angry Carlos Reutemann and an injured Didier Pironi opened the door for three farewell races with Williams and Ferrari, culminating in an extraordinary podium finish at Monza.
To understand how it all came about, it helps to hit the rewind button. Going into the 1981 season, Andretti had been faced with the choice between moving from Lotus to either McLaren or Alfa Romeo.
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