Marco Andretti, who currently competes for the 13th consecutive year in the IndyCar Series, is an American racing driver and third generation of one of the most famous racing families in the world. His grandfather is legendary Mario Andretti, while Michael Andretti is Marco’s father.
Collecting wins on a way to premier division
With this kind of pedigree, it was clear that Marco will follow the footsteps of his ancestors. He was born on March 13, 1987, in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and at the age of 16, he began to race in Barber Formula Dodge Eastern Championship. In 2004, Andretti won the titles in Barber National and Southern class.
In 2005, Marco raced in the Star Mazda Championship, one of the IndyCar feeder series, but also enrolled a couple of notable results in the Indy Lights Series. Driving for Andretti Green Racing, the team of his father, Marco appeared in six races and scored three wins – at St. Petersburg, Indianapolis, and Sonoma. He was also 2nd at Watkins Glen and 3rd at Kentucky Speedway before finishing 10th overall.
Marco Andretti in the IRL Infiniti Pro Series in 2005
Impressive debut in the IndyCar Series
It was clear that Marco has a potential but it was probably a bit surprising when Andretti Green Racing, the team that later became Andretti Autosport and with which he will spend the rest of his career, announced that he will drive a full season in the 2006 IndyCar Series.
Marco Andretti immediately proved that he deserved a chance in the American top open-wheels championship. He finished second at Indianapolis 500, just 0.0635 seconds behind Sam Hornish Jr, and became the third member of Andretti dynasty who managed to score Top 5 finish in one of the most prominent races in the world.
Marco later in the season won the race at Sonoma becoming, at the age of 19 years and 167 days, the youngest race winner in the history of the series and eventually finished 7th in the standings. Finally, Andretti deserved Rookie of the Year Award.
Marco Andretti celebrates his maiden IndyCar win, 2006 at Sonoma Raceway
Four seasons without wins in the IndyCar Series
After an exciting rookie season, Andretti failed to repeat these amazing results in the next couple of years. Andretti had to wait four years to score his second win in the series. However, during those four seasons, Marco had many good results.
In 2007, his best results were the 2nd places at Iowa and Michigan. In the Drivers’ championship, Andretti dropped to the 11th position but improved in 2008 after finishing 7th overall. Marco was 2nd in the season-opening night race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, later finished 3rd in the races at Indy 500, Iowa, and Kentucky. That year at Milwaukee Andretti also won his maiden pole position, becoming the youngest IndyCar driver who won the pole position at the time.
The season of 2009 was a small step backwards. Marco failed to score a single finish in Top 3. The best result was the 4th place at Texas Motor Speedway and Andretti finished 8th in the standings. The same position Marco won in 2010. That year he finished 3rd at Indianapolis 500, as well as at Texas and Chicagoland, but in most of the races, his form oscillated.
Marco Andretti early in a career
The second win finally came at Iowa
After four years Marco Andretti finally won the race. It was at Iowa Speedway where he ended 79 races long streak without a victory. However, the rest of 2011 campaign wasn’t so good. The only notable result that year was the 3rd place at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan. For the third year in a row, Andretti finished 8th in the championship.
Marco struggled during the season of 2012. The second place at Iowa Speedway, pole position at Fontana and only two finishes in Top 10 were the only bright moments of the campaign that Andretti ended at the 16th position which was his worst season so far.
Although he did not score a victory in 2013, that season was one of the best in Marco’s career so far as he finished 5th in the standings. The 3rd places at St. Petersburg and Sao Paulo were Andretti’s best results that year but he had several strong finishes that propelled him to 5th position in the final classification which is Andretti’s best achievement in the IndyCar Series so far.
Marco Andretti at Indianapolis
Years of struggling
In both 2014 and 2015, Andretti finished 9th overall after having too many oscillations. In 2015, Marco finished 2nd at Barber Motorsports Park and 3rd at Indy 500, while in the next campaign his best results were the 2nd position at Belle Isle Circuit and the 3rd place at Fontana. In both seasons Andretti scored numerous top 10 finishes but the situation worsened in 2016.
That year was definitely the worst one for Andretti. For the second time in his career he was 16th in the standings but that year he scored only three Top 10 finishes, which was far below the expectations and Marco’s abilities. In 2017, the struggle continued and Andretti ended 12th in the points.
Marco Andretti, #26 Andretti Green Racing Acura ARX-01B
Marco Andretti tested himself in other racing categories
Apart from competing in the IndyCar Series, Andretti appeared in many other championships. He drove with a considerable success for the US Team set up by Green Andretti Racing in 2008-2009 A1 GP. In 2008, he also appeared in three rounds of the American Le Mans Series.
In 2010, Marco debuted in 24 Hours of Le Mans with Rebellion Racing, driving alongside Nicolas Prost and Neel Jani, but failed to finish the race. Two years later Andretti experienced the V8 Supercars Championship driving for Kelly Racing in one round. Finally, in 2014-2015, he drove for Andretti Autosport in the FIA Formula E Championship Buenos Aires ePrix.