McLaren’s first ever World Champion, Brazilian legend Emerson Fittipaldi, today makes a return to his old home – as a regular blog columnist here on the team’s official website.
For motorsport fans, the Fittipaldi name needs no introduction. In 1972, at the age of 25 years and 273 days, driving a Lotus 72, he became the youngest ever Formula 1 World Champion – a record that would stay unbeaten until Fernando Alonso took over the mantle 33 years later, in 2005, at the age of 24 years and 58 days.
And in 1974, Emerson won the Formula 1 World Championship again, this time aboard the iconic and all-conquering McLaren M23, becoming McLaren’s first ever World Champion in so doing.
Emerson is one of the most successful and versatile drivers in the history of motor racing, having won the Formula 1 World Championship twice, scoring 14 Grand Prix victories in so doing. Not satisfied with that, however, after leaving Formula 1 he forged a brilliant second career in the North American Indycar series, twice winning the prestigious Indianapolis 500 (in 1989 and 1993), becoming CART champion in 1989, and scoring 22 CART victories in his Indycar career.
He is one of only five men to have won both the Indianapolis 500 and the Formula 1 World Championship; the other four are Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Mario Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve.
Clearly, ‘Emmo’ knows a thing or two about motor racing – and he’s bringing all his experience, wisdom and humour to bear on his regular blog column.
Emerson Fittipaldi said:
“I want to say how delighted I am to have been invited to write a regular blog for McLaren’s official website.
“I plan to do 12 of them this year, on a more-or-less monthly basis, timing them for the lead-up to key events/races.
“I’m a racer, not a writer, but I hope I’ll be able to communicate my racer’s passion in what I write.
“Even now, more than half a century after my first race, I love racing as much as I ever did. Wherever I am in the world, racing is always on my mind, and I’m always happy to talk about it with people who love it as I do. Racing is my life. I think I was put on earth to race.
“So, anyway, whether you’re a racing fan or a racing journalist or even a retired racing driver who still loves his sport with as much passion as ever, like me, I hope you’ll enjoy my blog.”
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh said:
“As our first ever World Champion, Emerson has a unique and indelible place in the McLaren ‘hall of fame’.
“But, more than that, he’s one of the true greats of motor racing, a man who has seen and done more than almost any one else in motor racing history, so he’s uniquely well placed to offer our official website readers his unique views and insights.
“His first Grand Prix was the 1970 British Grand Prix, and his last Grand Prix was the 1980 United States Grand Prix; so, from his Formula 1 debut at Brands Hatch to his Formula 1 swansong at Watkins Glen, his career book-ends 1970s Grand Prix racing, his immoderate sideburns, his chunky sunglasses and of course his sheer pace making him perhaps the iconic racing driver of that decade.
“He promises to be uncompromising and honest in his opinions, and I’m therefore very eagerly looking forward to reading his regular blog columns over the next 12 months.”