NOVEMBER 30, 2020
Pietro Fittipaldi to replace Grosjean in Sakhir
Brazilian Pietro Fittipaldi will make his Formula 1 debut this weekend at the Sakhir Grand Prix, replacing the ailing Romain Grosjean.
Grosjean suffered burns to his hands in his accident yesterday, and is expected to by released by the hospital today.
24-year-old Fittipaldi has attended the majority of Formula 1 races this season in his test and reserve driver role with the team, and has competed in the Formula V8 3.5 Championship title and had several starts in the IndyCar Series competition.
Pietro is the 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.
Guenther Steiner, team principal, 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.”
Pietro Fittipaldi said, "Most importantly I’m happy Romain is safe and healthy. 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.”