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Mario Andretti On The Challenges Of Navigating Turn 1 With Wind Influencing The Car's Handling

“Turn 1 was always the most notoriously difficult corner. You've got the grandstands there, but you really felt the buffeting, and the wind was unpredictable. That’s one issue you know to look for.”

ON WHAT MAKING IT THOUGH TURN 1 MEANS TO SETTING A FAST LAP:

“When I went through Turn 1 well, I was in good shape, usually for the rest of the lap.”

ON RACING THROUGH TURN 1 WITH/WITHOUT DOWNFORCE (1960S TO 1990S)
“Well, to be honest with you, it's the same. Because when you’ve got downforce all you've got to do is go faster, and things will happen quicker. And so you're putting in the same effort. The trick is for the driver to take that equipment to the limit, whatever that limit is. And when we got downforce, all you did was go faster. But the job was the same. It was no harder and no easier. When you have more tools to work with, you're supposed to go faster. So it's about putting the ultimate effort into the job and take everything out of what you’re driving. That's the trick.”

ON RACING THROUGH TURN 1 IN THE 1960s ON SKINNY TREADED TIRES:

“We were sliding around. You could look at some of my qualifying in ’65, ’66, ’67, and I was taking every inch of the track, white-walling the tires in the short chute and sliding it around because there's no downforce.

ON HOW DRIVERS USED TO TIME THEMSELVES THROUGH TURN 1 BEFORE THE ADVENT OF ON-BOARD DATA SYSTEMS:

“There was a stripe on the wall going in and a stripe on the wall at the exit--we used to measure that. For the longest time the magic number was going through within five seconds. And I know that I was one of the first ones to break into the four-second era with the Lotus four-wheel-drive car. I remember that because five seconds used to be high fives and six fives and all that. And all of a sudden I got into the fours. That's how we used to measure it. That was a big deal.”

ON THE OLD-SCHOOL 3-2-1 BRAKING MARKERS LEADING INTO TURN 1 AND HOW THEY WERE USED BACK IN THE DAY WHEN DRIVERS HAD TO SLOW INTO THE CORNER BEFORE WINGS AND SLICKS:

“I used to brake very lightly and very late because I used to carry a lot of speed even with no aerodynamic help. It was all between the two and one marker most of the time. And you could be precise every lap. That's one of the reasons they even kept them on there, not that you really need it much today, but at least you know the proximity of the radius. That's the important thing.”
 
ON HIS FAMOUS USE OF THE TURN 1 APRON AND BAITING OF DANNY SULLIVAN IN 1985, CAUSING SULLIVAN TO DO HIS ‘SPIN-AND-WIN’:

“You've got to remember the apron was flat and Turn 1 had some banking, so you had to be very careful how you used it. And that's what caught out Danny, too, a little bit because he backed off at the wrong time. You had to power through the transition, and he did just the opposite. He lifted, and that hard transition from banking to the apron made him spin. But that's how you learn. I knew how to use the apron. I just wish they would have not gotten rid of it, quite honestly, but they did.”

FINAL TURN 1 REFLECTIONS:

“There's something about that corner. You almost don't get to catch your breath from lap to lap. That's the big difference, especially in the race. Turn 1 at Indy ranks right up there with the great ones, for sure.”
 

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Mario Andretti On The Challenges Of Navigating Turn 1 With Wind Influencing The Car's Handling
 
Mario Andretti On The Challenges Of Navigating Turn 1 With Wind Influencing The Car's Handling
“Turn 1 was always the most notoriously difficult corner. You've got the grandstands there, but you really felt the buffeting, and the wind was unpredictable. That’s one issue you know to look for.”
Read More
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