APRIL 5, 2016
F1 car seized amid Fittipaldi's mounting debts
F1 great Emerson Fittipaldi has had legendary racing cars from his private collection seized amid reports of deep financial problems.
O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper said 69-year-old Fittipaldi, one of Brazil's most famous racing names and a two-time world champion, has accumulated debts to the tune of $27 million.
The report said Brazilian courts have now acted, ordering the seizing of cars and trophies belonging to Fittipaldi, amid the bankruptcy of multiple of his businesses and orange farms.
Officials reportedly seized Fittipaldi's 1989-winning Indy 500 car from his offices and museum, and the Copersucar F1 car that Fittipaldi raced in 1975.
"The cars were disassembled and will be auctioned," the Brazilian newspaper said.
A spokesperson for Fittipaldi, who won 14 grands prix in his career until 1980, said the former McLaren driver is willing to negotiate with his creditors to settle the situation caused by the financial and political crisis gripping Brazil.
"He has confidence in the economic future of the country and the financial health of his companies," the spokesperson added.