Watch Mario Andretti's Long-awaited Lap in a Modern F1 Car – Road & Track

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After Zak Brown made good on a promise made in May, Andretti got his chance to drive the 2013 McLaren MP4/28 at Laguna Seca.
During May’s Miami Grand Prix, McLaren boss Zak Brown promised 1978 Formula 1 champion and all-around auto racing legend Mario Andretti that he could drive a modern F1 car. Yesterday, during the Velocity Invitational at Laguna Seca, that opportunity finally came to fruition.
Andretti’s lap was in a McLaren MP4/28, the team’s 2013 challenger that ran with the pairing of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez. The MP4/28 ran in the last year of V-8s in F1, so it is a mild hybrid with about 80 hp of assistance from a kinetic energy recovery system. That’s in contrast to the turbo V-6 regulations introduced in 2014, which greatly increased the total hybrid power available to compensate for the change in internal combustion engine design. The MP4/28 scored points consistently for both Perez and Button, but the car never scored a podium in competition.
Brown had initially offered Andretti a lap in the car two years ago, when Andretti sat in a modern F1 car at Goodwood and mentioned to Brown that he’d be interested in running laps in the car. Andretti then bugged Brown for the next two years before finally mentioning it on air during the Miami Grand Prix, where Brown committed to getting the world champion and Indianapolis 500 winner his long-awaited time in a modern car. The McLaren executive made good on that promise this week, offering what Andretti told Road & Track would be a few chances to test the car at Laguna Seca this weekend.


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