AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
BRAZILIAN Pietro Fittipaldi will make his Formula 1 at Sunday’s Grand Prix at the Sakhir Circuit in Bahrain, replacing the injured Romain Grosjean, the Haas team has announced.
Grosjean sustained hand injuries during a horrific high speed crash in last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Fittipaldi, (24), has attended the majority of Formula 1 races this season in his test and reserve driver role with Haas. The Miami-born Brazilian resume which includes a Formula V8 3.5 Championship title and several starts in IndyCar Series competition.
Grandson of two-time FIA Formula 1 World Champion and double Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, Pietro has tested previously with Haas F1 Team in its VF-18 in 2018 and the VF-19 in 2019. Friday’s opening practise sessions in Bahrain will mark the first time behind the wheel of the VF-20 this season for Fittipaldi.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said: “After it was decided that the best thing for Romain (Grosjean) was to skip at least one race, the choice to put Pietro (Fittipaldi) in the car was pretty easy. Pietro will drive the VF-20 and he’s familiar with us having been around the team for the past two seasons as a test and reserve driver. It’s the right thing to do and it’s obviously a good opportunity for him. He’s been patient and was always prepared for this opportunity – and now it has come. That’s why we want him in the car and I’m sure he’ll do a good job. It’s very demanding being called in at the last minute, but as I said, I think it’s the right thing to do for Haas F1 Team.
“Most importantly I’m happy Romain (Grosjean) is safe and healthy,” remarked Pietro Fittipaldi. “We’re all very happy his injuries are relatively minor after such a huge incident. Obviously, it’s not an ideal set of circumstances to get my first opportunity to compete in Formula 1, but I’m extremely grateful to Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for their faith in putting me behind the wheel this weekend. I’ve been with the team a lot this season, both trackside and working on simulator sessions, so I’m familiar with the team’s operating procedures on a grand prix weekend. It’s going to be exciting to make my first career start in Formula 1 – I’ll be giving it my all and I look forward to starting in free practice on Friday in Bahrain.”