In 1978, racing against some of the best drivers in Formula 1 history, Mario Andretti became Formula 1 world champion with Lotus.

    The Italian-born American's victory was a long-held dream, but it was darkened by the death of his team mate Ronnie Peterson. Looking back 45 years in this week's Beyond The Grid podcast, Mario remembers that year as a season of intense emotions.

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    In this week's pod the 12-time Grand Prix winner tells host Tom Clarkson about his preparations for racing in Europe, his relationship with his visionary team boss Colin Chapman – and how he made changes to the set-up of his Lotus to gain a crucial advantage over his rivals.

    Mario also shares his memories of battling brake problems to win the championship at Monza, before learning that his team mate and close friend Ronnie Peterson had lost his life after a crash.

    Plus, Mario picks out the current F1 drivers who impress him most, and remembers F1’s previous races in Las Vegas in the early 1980s ahead of the championship's eagerly anticipated return to Nevada this weekend after a 40 year break.

    To listen to this week’s episode of Beyond The Grid, simply hit go on the audio player above – or click here to listen via your preferred podcasting platform.

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