Iconic name returns to F1 as Pietro Fittipaldi joins Haas as test driver
First there was Emerson. Then Wilson. Then Christian. And now Pietro Fittipaldi is set to become the fourth member of his family to make a splash in F1.
The 22-year-old Brazilian, a grandson of 1972 and 1974 F1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, has been named as Haas’s official test driver for the 2019 season, supporting the team’s race drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.
Fittipaldi, who raced in IndyCar this year having overcome a leg-breaking crash in the World Endurance Championship race at Spa-Francorchamps in May, will get his first taste of F1 machinery at the end-of-year Pirelli tyre test in Abu Dhabi on November 27 where he will drive the Haas VF-18.
“I’m pleased to welcome Pietro Fittipaldi to Haas F1 Team and we look forward to working with him,” said Team Principal Guenther Steiner.
“He brings a championship-winning pedigree from his junior open-wheel career, and more recently he has acquitted himself well running in the IndyCar series. We’re happy to provide Pietro his first test in a Formula 1 car off the back of those experiences. His subsequent role testing, and the feedback he’ll provide in support of our 2019 campaign, will no doubt further contribute to Haas F1 Team’s growth and development in Formula 1.”
Fittipaldi, a winner of the Formula V8 3.5 Championship in 2017, added: “I’m extremely appreciative to have secured a role with Haas F1 Team as their test driver. I’d like to thank Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for the opportunity to join the team. They’ve done an incredible job in Formula 1, and to ask me to play a role in their continued success is naturally very exciting.
“I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the VF-18 in Abu Dhabi. I’ll carry that experience forward into 2019, and hopefully into a race seat in Formula 1 in the future.”
The Fittipaldi name is synonymous with F1. Emerson Fittipaldi won 14 Grands Prix on his way to world titles with Lotus and McLaren in the Seventies before teaming up with brother (and fellow F1 racer) Wilson in a family-run team. Wilson’s son Christian, meanwhile, started 40 Grands Prix for Minardi and Footwork in the Nineties.