Nov 16, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
When Mario Andretti speaks, you listen.
When Mario Andretti disagrees with something, you listen even more intensely.
When Mario Andretti calls the 2014 IndyCar schedule “not plausible,” you have to pause and realize the magnitude of the statement.
One of the living legend’s many roles is serving as an ambassador at the Circuit of the Americas, but I had the chance to catch up with him in the paddock earlier today and he did not mince his words about his frustration with the condensed schedule.
“It’s not plausible. I’ll fight Mark Miles on this the whole way. It’s diminishing the series,” Andretti said.
“A season schedule should not end in August. It’s never happened before. You can’t be worrying about ceding to college football or the NFL. You can’t be taken seriously unless we’re like F1 or NASCAR with the season going to November.”
Andretti also doubts the possible “international series” will come to fruition. And if it does, it would be more of a slap in the face to IndyCar’s regular season than a real boon.
“This ‘mini’ international series is a real ‘pie in the sky’ idea to appease the owners,” Andretti said. “We can’t have a ‘mini’ series. What does that accomplish?”
Other drivers have expressed private concerns about the, at the moment, seven-month offseason slated between August 2014 and March 2015.
But when a legend such as Andretti expresses them without reservation, it’s a big deal.
Video from NASCAR America
- 2014 United States Grand Prix Preview 0
- Road To: Mercedes teaser – The very first Mercedes-Benz car (VIDEO) 0
- 2015 IndyCar schedule officially revealed; 17 races including 12 on NBCSN (VIDEO) 1
- Bianchi remains “critical but stable” but continues to fight, says family 2
- Has Formula 1 cracked the U.S. market in Austin? 3
- Behind the scenes: Lewis Hamilton on TODAY (VIDEO) 0
- Krista Voda to become host for NASCAR on NBC coverage next year 2