Michelob ULTRA and Williams Racing made waves by announcing the groundbreaking ‘Lap of Legends,’ marking the first-ever real vs. virtual Formula 1 race. The event will see Williams driver Logan Sargeant pitted against a lineup of Williams legends, including Jacques Villeneuve, Jenson Button, Nigel Mansell, and Alain Prost.

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Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, AI, and augmented reality, the event brings together current F1 talent and racing royalty in an unprecedented competition.

Speaking exclusively to The Source, racing icon Mario Andretti shared insights into his participation in the Lap of Legends special, highlighting Michelob ULTRA’s partnership with Williams Racing and offering commentary on the current Formula 1 season and more.

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The highly anticipated race unfolded at the legendary Silverstone Circuit, promising an electrifying showdown between past and present stars of the sport. The action-packed event is set to be featured in a one-hour television special airing on AMC and Roku later this spring.

With its innovative approach and stellar lineup, the ‘Lap of Legends’ represents a thrilling fusion of tradition and cutting-edge technology, captivating fans of Formula 1 worldwide. Stay tuned for the exhilarating race highlights and exclusive insights from the drivers.

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What were your first thoughts and overall feelings when the Lap of Legends campaign was presented to you as a possible participant?

They went to my management firm to first present it, and when my manager came to me and explained I didn’t get it immediately and said I’ll start training tomorrow [laughs]. When he went into more details, I became more understanding and, honestly, flattered and thrilled, I thought. Michelob Ultra is involved in this project on behalf of the Williams team, and I immediately thought about my friendship with Frank Williams. During the time we spent together, I drove for him at a nonchampionship race. I was all in.

What does this campaign do for a new audience and generation of fans to get invested in Williams Racing and Formula One?

This is fantastic. It is creating curiosity and educating a fan base. This will increase viewership in the younger audience and is another way to use today’s technology. I think that aspect is accomplished. Whenever I see things that create interest in our sport, I’m all in because I want it to continue to prosper.

How do you think you and other legends would fare in today’s F1?

Obviously, we would be driving contemporary cars. It would be fun. This would raise a lot of questions about rules and so forth. But for this campaign, I’ll be driving from a different era. I’m in the oldest car, so with realistic aspects of this, techniques, and all the strategies, it surely will be interesting. I’m as anxious as anyone. I’ve gotten a glimpse of what’s at play, but I can’t wait for May 14.

You mentioned you will be in the oldest car, but being Mario Andretti has to give you an advantage over everybody else in the field, right?

I think it’s probably my energy [laughs]. I’m sure I have more energy than any of the other dudes out there.

Williams, as a team, has an incredible racing history. How special is it to participate in this campaign that illuminates that history and connects to this current generation of drivers like Logan Sargeant?

Bringing the Williams team to the forefront is important because they were world champions and have that story of being created by Frank Williams. They deserve this. I applaud Michelob for coming and selecting Williams for this project. Even as a team right now, they are beginning their comeback. They have regrouped with new talent. The future will only go forward for Williams, and it is great to see.

Returning to the technology in this race, tech has become integral to racing. How do you feel technology is shaking the future of F1 and motorsports?

There are so many innovations. You encourage the performance aspect of tech with the efficiency of the product. This impacts aerodynamics and suspension dynamics. It’s an experiment playground, and with these engineering minds, they have a rule book and see how far they can go. How great can I be with all these things at play? There’s always entertainment, but technology brings another value to motor racing.

What would it be if you had to advise a young star like Logan Sargeant?

He’s already where he wants to be. I would say to absorb as much as you can from other drivers. There is always somebody better than you, and because of that, you will get better at achieving solid objectives. If you look at the champion before me, how will I beat this dude? That’s how it works. For him, it’s the same thing. You have a sense of pride and passion. Combine that with raw talent and then you have just to keep cultivating that.

You can learn more about Michelob Ultra’s Lap of Legends here.