Andretti Autosport team owner Michael Andretti discussed the differences between running his Verizon IndyCar Series team as opposed to when he was driving for one in a recent chat with IndyCar.com's Phillip B. Wilson.
Wilson: What’s life like as an owner as opposed to being a driver? You’ve been an owner for so long, but is it hard not to have the pangs to want to get in the car?
Andretti: No, that’s been put to bed. To be a driver, you have to be in such good shape and I don’t want to get into a car unless I can do the best I can do. If I got into a car now, it would be just a big disappointment for me because I’d be falling out of the seat. I put that all behind. The moment I said that was it, it was it and my mind has been 100 percent focused on the ownership side because I knew that was my new stage of life.
Wilson: You enjoy it?
Andretti: It’s been great. I love it. You go through some tough times, but overall it’s a fun business to be in. It’s a unique business. There are so many aspects of it. When you go into work, you go from the engineering to the management to the PR to the CR (client relations) to the marketing. There are so many different sides to it, it’s fun because there’s always a new challenge every time you open the door and go in there.
Wilson: Does the buzz ever get to where it was when you drove?
Andretti: No, it’s just different. When you win as an owner, you feel like it’s more shared. When you’re a driver, it’s more personal.
Wilson: Your driving career wasn’t bad, but as an owner you’ve won four Indianapolis 500s.
Andretti: Yeah, it’s great, and won all those championships as well. It’s been great as an owner, especially at Indianapolis. I couldn’t do it as a driver, but four times as an owner is pretty cool.
Wilson: So you’ve accomplished a lot as an owner and you’re happy?
Andretti: Yeah, I’m happy. I’m proud to see the smile on everybody’s faces and to be a part of all that. It’s great.
Wilson: How much pride do you have in extending the Andretti legacy?
Andretti: Oh, for sure, to be able to take it on the way we have, three generations, and we’ve been doing well as a team to keep it all going. Yeah, I’m very proud of that. I’m very proud of our brand. It means everything to us. We do everything we can to do it proud.