Haas retain Pietro Fittipaldi as test and reserve for 2021
The Fittipaldi name will remain in Formula 1 this season with news that Pietro will continue in his role as test and reserve driver for Haas for the second consecutive season…
The 24-year-old made his Grand Prix debut in the Sakhir Grand Prix last season as a replacement for the injured Romain Grosjean, and stayed in the car for the next and final round in Abu Dhabi with a best finish of 17th.
The American team have opted to retain Fittipaldi – grandson of two-time F1 champion Emerson – in a supporting role, alongside their all-new rookie racing line-up of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.
Fittipaldi, who had tested the VF-18 and VF-19 before making his racing debut in the VF-20, attended the majority of Grands Prix last year and is set to support Haas once again trackside this year.
“We’re all delighted to continue our relationship with Pietro Fittipaldi,” said Team Principal Guenther Steiner. “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.
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
“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.”
Fittipaldi added: “I’m grateful to Gene [Haas, team owner] and Guenther 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.”
Haas are currently the only team yet to announce when they will reveal their 2021 challenger.