IndyCar and SportsCar prospect Pietro Fittipaldi joins Haas F1 as test driver
Pietro Fittipaldi, the grandson of two-time world driver’s champion Emerson Fittipaldi, has secured a test-driver role with HaasF1 for 2019.
The latest historic name to return to F1, Fittipaldi will get behind the wheel for the first time in the postseason Pirelli tire test in Abu Dhabi. Rising through the junior ranks, Fittipaldi won the 2017 World Series Formula V8 3.5 championship, the same championship that strengthened Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo’s stock when he finished as runner-up in 2010.
This year, Fittipaldi has enjoyed six outings to date in IndyCar with Dale Coyne Racing and has raced once in the Japanese Super Formula championship.
"I’m extremely appreciative to have secured a role with Haas F1 Team as their test driver," Fittipaldi said in a press release. "I’d like to thank Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for the opportunity to join the team. They’ve done an incredible job in Formula 1, and to ask me to play a role in their continued success is naturally very exciting. I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the VF-18 in Abu Dhabi. I’ll carry that experience forward into 2019 -- and hopefully into a race seat in Formula 1 in the future."
As drivers like Nico Rosberg, Damon Hill, Nelson Piquet Jr., Jacques Villeneuve -- to name a few -- have found, living up to a name linked with success in F1 is not easy but it is also not impossible.
Team boss Guenther Steiner was very pleased to welcome the Brazilian into the team in Sau Paulo ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
"I’m pleased to welcome Pietro Fittipaldi to Haas F1 Team, and we look forward to working with him," said Steiner. "He brings a championship-winning pedigree from his junior open-wheel career, and more recently, he has acquitted himself well running in the IndyCar series. We’re happy to provide Pietro his first test in a Formula 1 car off the back of those experiences. His subsequent role testing and the feedback he’ll provide in support of our 2019 campaign will no doubt further contribute to Haas F1 Team’s growth and development in Formula 1."
Pietro made headlines earlier this season when he fractured both of his legs in a qualifying crash during the Six Hours of Spa. That same incident forced him to miss the Indianapolis 500. Fittipaldi began his career in Late Model Stocks in North Carolina before transitioning into open-wheel single seaters.