Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Fall of Mario Moraes

Is it me or has the name "Mario Moraes" completely disappeared from the Indycar world? I mean, I can't say I am surprised, as he was a bull in a China shop on the track. But behind these mistakes and miscues was a driver who could drive the wheels off the car. This begs the question: what if Mario Moraes could have been more patient and finished more races?

Let's look at the stats over his three full time years in Indycar. In 51 starts. Mario recorded 4 top-five finishes and 13 top-ten finishes, including a career high 3rd at Chicago in 2009. Moraes drove for Dale Coyne Racing in 2008 and KV Racing in 2009-2010. Unfortunately for Mario, he DNF'd 18 races, or 35% of the races he participated in. No driver will ever bee retained if he doesn't finish in one out of every three races. Mario's average finish was 16th place. Also nothing to brag about.

Mario on top of Marco in Brazil 2010 (No photographer listed)

Perhaps the moment that sums up Mario's career the best was turn one lap one at the 2009 Indianapolis 500, where coming out of turn one, he rose up the track and got hooked into the wall by Marco Andretti. Mario blamed Marco for the incident, but we could clearly see it was Mario's fault. Mario was perhaps the dark horse of that race as he started a very impressive 7th place and was fast all month.

Other incidents that raise a lot of questions about his capabilities were incidents with Viso (Toronto '09), Castroneves (Texas '10), and Hunter-Reay (Richmond '08). So after all of these faults, Mario was replaced by Tony Kanaan in 2011, and Mario received no offers to race in 2011 and subsequently 2012. I researched and could not find what Mario Moraes has been doing since leaving Indycar if anything. Such a shame to see great talent wasted due to some unfortunate errors and questionable decisions.

Helio, Mario, and Baguette Texas 2010 (Roger Mallison / Star Telegram)

Let me know what you think.

-Matthew Hickey

1 comment:

  1. it was my understanding that his career was being funded by family money. Once his father died late in 2009, the family funding dried up.

    I liked Mario off track. Personally I think he was a victim of circumstance and bad timing. Look at the difference in EJ with a little proper guidance by team/teammates.

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