Pietro Fittipaldi has retained his test and reserve driver role at Haas F1 Team, the American-owned team announced today.
He joined Haas after the conclusion of the 2018 season to become their full-time test driver. He got opportunities to drive the VF-18 and VF-19 in that role as he combined it with his DTM campaign during the 2019 season.
The grandson of two-time Formula One Emerson Fittipaldi got an unexpected chance to race in Formula One at the end of the 2020 campaign following Romain Grosjean’s scary accident at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Fittipaldi impressed in his first two F1 starts as he brought the car home in both races; he also did a tremendous job in qualifying at Abu Dhabi to be just over 0.3s off regular driver Kevin Magnussen on a long, technical track.
The 24-year-old Brazilian says he’s ‘’very happy to continue’’ and Haas feels like ‘’a big family’’ after working with them for a couple of years now.
“I’m very happy to be able to continue into my third year with Haas F1 Team. I’m grateful to Gene (Haas) and Guenther (Steiner) for the opportunity once again. I’ve been working with the engineers now for a couple of years and I really feel like it’s a big family at Haas. It’s a great pleasure for me to be able to continue working with the team. With the two races I ran last year, it just helped me gain even more experience, and I’m sure that’s going to help me be able to contribute more to the team as a result. I’m really looking forward to the new season and I’m just really excited to be continuing my relationship with Haas and being with them again in Bahrain in March.”
“We’re all delighted to continue our relationship with Pietro Fittipaldi. The role of test and reserve driver means you might be called up to drive at very short notice and that turned out to be the case for Pietro in Bahrain at the end of 2020. Despite the demands of driving with little time to prepare, he undoubtedly did a solid job for us – not least as he hadn’t even tested the VF-20. He didn’t get caught up in the moment, he proved patient and ultimately, he did what he was asked to do – he brought the car home in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. That first-hand race experience will only serve to add value in terms of what he brings to the team in his role this season. We look forward to working with Pietro and having him with us again throughout the year.”
🇬🇧Very happy to be continuing for a 3rd year as Haas F1 Reserve and Test Driver! I can’t wait to start working with the team.With 2GPs under my belt I look forward to using that experience to contribute even more! Thank you Gene and Guenther for the confidence and opportunity.@F1 pic.twitter.com/J28cFVmLzq— Pietro Fittipaldi (@PiFitti) February 19, 2021