Arise Sir Mario...

Mario Andretti has been honoured by Italy, his birthplace, with the title of Commendatore, the Italian equivalent of a knighthood. This is the highest civilian honour awarded by the Italian government.

Andretti becomes only the second figure from motorsport to receive the accolade and follows his hero Enzo Ferrari in being recognised in Italy.

“Mr Ferrari was one of my heroes for most of my life,” said Andretti on receiving the title.

“Mario has always been a prominent member of the Italian-American community and very proud of his Italian heritage,” said Antonio Bandini, the Italian consul to the US.

The award was made at the Columbus Citizens Foundation in New York.