With the first-ever Miami Grand Prix just a few days away, Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi and Juan Pablo Montoya have all been announced as ambassadors for the event at the newly-built Miami International Autodrome.
The three racing legends were unveiled as ambassadors for the event by South Florida Motorsports, Richard Cregan, CEO of the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix couldn’t hide his excitement of having the legends onboard.
“It will be a great pleasure to have the opportunity to work with these greats. When you consider what they have all achieved and the status they enjoy in the history of motorsport, then you can understand why they are referred to as legends. For me personally, it is an honour to be working together with Mario, Emerson and Juan Pablo for the upcoming Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix.”
Mario Andretti is undoubtedly one of the most famous drivers in the history of motorsport. Andretti holds a prestigious honour of having won a race at every single discipline he entered, a list that consists of midgets, sprint cars, dirt track cars, stock cars, IndyCars, Formula 1, Formula 5000 and sportscars. Andretti who was born in Italy and emigrated to America, claimed victory 111 times during a career which spanned over five decades and six continents. Andretti remains the only driver to have won the Daytona 500, Indy 500 and the Formula 1 World Championship.
Andretti is honoured to have been announced as an ambassador for the inaugural event.
“It’s an absolute honour for me to be one of the Ambassadors of the inaugural Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix. Although I achieved victories at Daytona, Indianapolis and in IndyCar, I was very proud of the success I achieved in Formula 1 — winning the world title with Lotus and scoring a podium with Ferrari at the Italian Grand Prix. I still love the sport of F1 and can’t wait for the racing to begin on this fabulous circuit built in the Campus next to the Hard Rock Stadium.”
Brazilian driver Emerson Fittipaldi also holds a very decorated record, having won the Formula 1 championship twice in 1972 and 1974. Fittipaldi also went on to win the Indy 500 twice in 1989 and 1993, with his sole Indycar championship coming the same year as his first Indy 500 victory. Fittipaldi incredibly also has a street named after him in Miami, a place he calls home. Fittipaldi can’t wait to see the drivers hit the new circuit in what he believes will become “an annual highlight on the Formula 1 calendar”
“As somebody who has spent decades living and working in Miami, it’s a huge privilege to be associated with this brand new F1 race in a place I call home. For many years I’ve thought how wonderful it would be for this great city to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix and now, thanks to all the efforts of the team at South Florida Motorsports, we have this amazing 19-turn circuit that raises the standards for all future Formula 1 events. I’ve absolutely no doubt the drivers, teams, media, fans and VIP guests will love the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix and this race will become an annual highlight on the Formula 1 calendar.”
The final racing legend to be unveiled as an ambassador for the race is Juan Pablo Montoya. The Colombian driver remains one of the fastest in the world and is still racing currently in the IMSA Sportscar Championship. Montoya holds an impressive record of winning the Indy 500 on his first attempt back in 1999, he won the title the following year in 2000. His early success in the United States saw Montoya make the switch to Formula 1 with Williams and then McLaren, before moving to NASCAR in 2007. The Colombian eventually returned to where it all started in IndyCar, where in 2015 he claimed his second Indy 500 victory.
Like Andretti and Fittipaldi, Montoya is very excited for Formula 1 to visit Miami which he believes will “bring the glamour”.
“Having lived in this part of the world for a long time, I’m very excited that we will be able to showcase all that Miami and South Florida has to offer. This is a great place for music, food and sports and everyone who comes to this race will understand why it’s such a special city. It’s an attractive place, so equally for Formula 1 to come here and bring the glamour, technology and exciting racing will mean the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix will be a truly unforgettable experience.”