The American dream in driver form, the Italian-born Andretti became arguably the most successful, and certainly the most versatile, racing driver North America has ever produced.
Andretti was already a paid-up star when he made his F1 debut at Watkins Glen in 1968, raising eyebrows by putting his Lotus on pole position. His F1 career was piecemeal in the first half of the 1970s - although he did win the South African Grand Prix for Ferrari in 1971 - before throwing his lot in with the Parnelli team in 1974-1975.
But it was his return to Lotus in 1976 that set him on the path to the title. His development skills helped hone Colin Chapman's brilliant design concepts, and in 1978, Andertti won six times on his way to winning the world championship.
His final F1 return, for Ferrari, yielded a pole position on comeback at Monza in 1982, and he was still winning Indycar races 11 years later at the age of 52!
Should Mario Andretti be higher or lower in F1's greatest drivers?View Results
|Born||28 Feb 1940|
|Active years||1968 - 1982|