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Marco Andretti to test for Honda in Jerez 11 Dec 2006

L-R: Andretti Green Team mates Marco Andretti (USA) and Tony Kanaan (USA). IRL IndyCar Series, Indianapolis 500 Practice, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, USA. 9-11 May 2006. World © Sutton.

Marco Andretti will get his first taste of Formula One power on Friday, courtesy of Honda, during this week’s three-day test in Jerez. Andretti, the grandson of 1978 world champion Mario, has been awarded the opportunity in recognition of his achievements in this year’s IndyCar Series.

"I am thrilled that Honda has offered me this incredible opportunity,” said Andretti. “As you would expect of any racing driver, when Honda offered me the chance to drive, I grabbed it with both hands - no hesitation! I can only imagine what an awesome experience this is going to be and I'm just going to take my time and enjoy every moment."

Andretti enjoyed a successful debut year in the Honda-powered IndyCar series, winning his first victory at the Sonoma event and finishing a close second in the 2006 Indianapolis 500. The 19 year-old American ended the season seventh in the drivers’ standing and was also named ‘rookie of the year’.

"We are delighted to have Marco join us in Jerez next week for his first run in a Formula One car,” commented Honda’s sporting director, Gil de Ferran. “Marco has had an outstanding first season in the IndyCar Series, making a big impact at such a young age. As part of the extended Honda Racing family, it will be a great pleasure for us to give him the chance of his first experience of Formula One."

Andretti is the third generation of one of America’s greatest racing dynasties. His grandfather, Mario, won 12 Grands Prix and one world title during a Formula One career which spanned 13 years from 1968-82. His father Michael, a renowned CART champion, also enjoyed a brief spell in Formula One racing, competing in 13 Grands Prix for McLaren in 1993.