Like Father Like Son
Marco Andretti takes his first steps into a career in Formula 1
Egad! Another Andretti has taken baby steps toward driving in Formula 1. During Honda F1's first winter tests in Spain, the team extended some seat time to Marco Andretti, who is coming off his rookie year in IndyCar.
Andretti joined several Honda drivers at Jerez Circuit. He began testing the RA106 racecar shortly after 9 a.m. with an installation lap, followed by several short runs, which were intended to help him familiarize himself with the F1 car. Andretti completed 33 laps before the morning session came to a close.
"It took me a little while to get used to the traction control and the brakes but once I got to grips with them, the times were more and more consistent," said Andretti, whose father, Michael, spent a year at McLaren in 1991. His grandfather, Mario, won a Formula 1 title with Lotus in 1978.
Who's your daddy!
Andretti was back on track at the start of the afternoon session and continued to improve steadily as he completed a total of 68 laps. "He did a good job and acclimatized himself well to the unfamiliar surroundings in the very short time that a one-day test provides," said Gil de Ferran, Honda F1's sporting director. "Marco looked comfortable straightaway with the car and the track, and overall, it was a good first experience in a Formula 1 car."
Andretti earned Rookie of the Year honors after winning at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma and coming in second at the Indianapolis 500. But the test may have been more than just a reward drive. Marco is just 19 years old and has shown a penchant for running in the front of the pack. His surname doesn't hurt either. It seems like a matter of time before he gets a serious look at F1.
Christian Klein Joins Honda F1
Dutch driver Christian Klein signed on with Honda F1 to be the team's third driver and will take on testing responsibilities on race weekends. Klein, 23, has been with Team Red Bull Racing for three years. He is well seasoned, with 46 grand prix under his belt. He had a poor year with Red Bull in 2006-finishing with 2 points-and lost his race seat to Mark Webber. Klein had his most productive year in 2005, when he finished in 15th with 9 points.