Motorsport

Mario Andretti: F1 bosses 'should listen to the drivers a little bit more'

Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT) April 1, 2016
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Mario Andretti is one of only two Americans to win the Formula One world title. Michael Hickey/Getty Images North America/Getty Images/file
A young Andretti posing for the cameras at Brands Hatch ahead of the 1970 British Grand Prix. The Italian-American won his only world title in 1978 -- 17 years after Phil Hill became the first American win the F1 drivers' championship. A. Jones/Hulton Archive/Getty Images/file
Andretti was active in F1 during one of its darkest safety periods. Here, Andretti is seen with Austrian driver Niki Lauda at Monza. Despite horrendous burns and scarring, Lauda made an incredible comeback to racing just six weeks after nearly losing his life in a crash at the Nurburgring during the 1976 German Grand Prix. "As drivers we had to organize, to make certain demands because nobody would volunteer a safety feature on a racing car because almost every safety feature was a performance penalty." Tony Duffy/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images/file
Mario Andretti pilots his Lotus Ford car around the Long Beach circuit during the 1977 United States Grand Prix West. Grand Prix Association of Long Beach
Happy days! Mario Andretti celebrates his win at the 1977 United States GP West at Long Beach. It was one of 12 victories Andretti achieved in Formula One. Grand Prix Association of Long Beach
Andretti posing with Sebastian Vettel of Daniel Ricciardo at Monza in 2014 when the pair were teammates at Red Bull Racing. Andretti says F1 is in good hands despite controversies over recent rule changes to qualifying. Mark Thompson/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images/file
Look at the accident to Alonso in Melbourne. Look at the car!" Andretti told CNN. "He came away to race another day. That's the bright side of our sport. We're very responsible about it and learn from every incident -- from that standpoint the sport is in very good hands." Theo Karanikos/AP
Mario Andretti tightens the straps on his helmet. Andretti was active in F1 from 1968 to 1982. "Our argument was if we're smart enough to make the cars faster why can't we be smart enough to make them safer so the drivers have a chance to race another day?" Andretti explained of his time in F1 during the 1970s.
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Andretti started a total of 128 F1 races. He finished on the podium a total of 19 times. The 1980 United States Grand Prix West (pictured) wasn't one of his more memorable races -- he retired on the opening lap. Steve Powell/Getty Images North America/Getty Images/file