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OCTOBER 29, 2003

Andretti tips Dixon for F1 future

Mario Andretti says that the new Indy Racing League Champion Scott Dixon has got everything it takes to be successful in Formula 1.

Andretti was speaking during a promotional tour in New Zealand following the Surfers Paradise CART race.

"He's a cool cat," said Andretti. "He's good, a very serious no-nonsense type of guy. I think he's a rare talent. I just hope he doesn't stay in the IRL too long. He needs to hone his road racing skills. It's very important to be up to date in Formula 1. But he certainly possesses the talent in my opinion. I hear he would probably like to do it in 2005. I don't think I'd wait a minute longer."

Dixon is keen to move to Formula 1 and his manager Stefan Johansson has already started talking to F1 teams about the New Zealander, who finishes his Target Chip Ganassi contract at the end of next year. Johansson is hoping that Dixon can be given an F1 test this winter.

Mario Andretti is a good judge, having been one of the few drivers to have won both the F1 and CART titles.