The Fittipaldi brothers Pietro and Enzo have both had a busy year of racing, travelling the world from one race track to another. The older of the two Pietro is currently the test and reserve driver with the Haas F1 team. The 25- year old has also completed three IndyCar oval races with Dale Coyne Racing filling in for ex-F1 driver Romain Grosjean which included the Indy500. Enzo has competed in 12 races in F3 and three for the F2 series with Charouz Racing System this season.
While Pietro was at Circuit of the Americas for the United States Grand Prix fulfilling his duties with the Haas team, Enzo was there supporting his older brother and enjoying Austin life. MotorLat, was able to catch up with both Fittipaldi brothers to discuss their accomplishments this season and what is on the horizon for these two Brazilian-American drivers.
Pietro has had a busy season juggling his role as reserve driver for Haas while racing in other series like IndyCar. When asked about his goals for next season, he hopes to be racing full-time.
“Yeah, I mean, that's the goal. Obviously, this year, you know, I did my role here with Haas as reserve and test driver throughout the year. So I'm going to the foreign races. I raced the European LeMans this year, I did the ovals in IndyCar, the Indy 500 for the first time, which was amazing,” Pietro replied.
“And some races in Brazil, but for sure, next year, you know, we're working on getting a full-time ride. It's always difficult nowadays, you know, there's a lot of drivers trying to come to the States now, and a lot of money behind and unfortunately, no racing.”
“So you know, kind of depends on how much budget a driver can bring but we're working really hard. We're very close on getting something done. So I'm very excited about it. And for sure, next year, I want to be racing something full-time.”
Although Pietro said that he wants more than a one-off race, he admits that he wouldn't turn down another chance competing in the iconic Indy500 race should the opportunity present itself.
“So yeah, for sure. I would definitely race the Indy 500 again, without a doubt, for sure. I'm working on doing something like a bigger program than that.”
“But you know, we were fastest rookie this year in qualifying and we're having a good race. The (Dale) Coyne car was really great. It was great working with Olivier (Boisson) as well, who was our race engineer.”
“And we went on a strategy we, you know, almost worked, but at the end, we got to stop for fuel. And, you know, we lost a lot of positions, obviously because of that. But we're running really strong in the race. And if I have another shot at it that would be awesome.”
In addition to racing full time in a racing series, Pietro revealed that IndyCar is one of his top choices and he has even been in talks with some of the teams:
“Yeah, for sure. IndyCar is on top of my list, where, you know, seeing other possibilities as well. But one of my goals will be to race in IndyCar without a doubt,” he stated.
“Yeah. Well, you know, we're in talks with some IndyCar teams and, you know, another series as well. So just, you know, we're gonna know more and, you know, in a couple weeks.”
Last season, Pietro was able to make his F1 debut with Haas for the Sakir Grand Prix then later in the season finale in Abu Dhabi when he filled in for Grosjean after his horrible accident in Bahrain. However, the Haas reserve driver is uncertain if he will have the opportunity to fill in for one of the current drivers by the end of the 2021 season.
“Maybe there's the end of season tests in Abu Dhabi. So that could be a possibility. It also depends on my role with the team for next year. That's something that we're working on. So right now I'm not sure but it definitely could be a possibility.”
Enzo on the other hand is staying focused on his last two races of the season hoping to ultimately land a full-time saet next year in F2.
“So I have these last two rounds of the Formula Two season in Jeddah then in Abu Dhabi. My goal is to work and to do a full season for Formula 2 next year. That's, what my goal, but now I'm just focused on the last two races this year,” he said.
After taking a year off from racing at the Circuit of the Americas due to the COVID pandemic, Pietro says it's good to be back in Austin and that he really enjoys the track:
“It's really good. It's been two years I'll see in 2019. The city is really nice. I raced back here in 2017 and with World Series, how to get a race weekend here, and I really enjoy the track."
“And the city as well. I mean, I was trying to get some barbecue with my brother yesterday. We went to a place and it was like a two hour line and so we need to try to find a little place to go and get some Texas barbecue.”
When the Fittipaldi brothers are not at a race track you can often find them doing sims on a virtual circuit on twitch or competing in e-races. For now both are prioritizing their real life racing careers and they are remaining open to virtual racing opportunities in the future.
“Yeah, maybe if F1 does the the virtual championship again, we won it for Haas last year and or this year at the end of this year if they do it again, for sure. But our focus is on our racing stuff,” Pietro stated.
Pietro then continued while praising his brother for the progress that he has achieved this season.
"And he (Enzo) has two more F2 rounds. He didn't say but he finished second in a Formula 3 race earlier this year and then got promoted to F2. So we're focused on that to the end of the season. Then in the off-season, we'll do more simulator stuff.”
When your grandfather is the two time F1 world champion and two time Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, there are high expectations that come with carrying such a prestigious last name. However both Pietro and Enzo have managed to stay grounded and not let the pressure of following in their grandfather’s footsteps affect them.
When directly asked if they they feel the pressure of carrying the Fittipaldi name, Pietro answered first:
“No, not at all. Not really for me, obviously its an honour to have the name. I don't feel it. But for me, it's like, I'm trying to win races and do my best. So you know, there's no one that can put more pressure on me than me, that I put on myself because I'm, I'm doing what I love and I want to do well.”
Enzo agreed: "Exactly what my brother said.”