Pietro Fittipaldi survived a broken exhaust to clinch his maiden World Series Formula V8 3.5 championship victory in race one at Silverstone on Saturday afternoon.
The Brazilian made a good start and had pulled out a seven second advantage on the rest of the field before his exhaust broke, and ultimately only finished 0.749 seconds ahead of Egor Orudzhev [who was later disqualified] when the chequered flag fell, but Fittipaldi was happy though to secure the victory in his first race with Lotus.
“It’s been really good,” said Fittipaldi of his weekend so far to The Checkered Flag. “In free practice two we were quickest, and both qualifying sessions we took pole position.
“I think the qualifying session this morning was tricky; it was wet in the beginning and started drying, [and was] still quite a bit off the pace of the dry time, but we were able to do a really good job and get the pole by almost a second.
“Then for the race it was dry, I had a good start, got a good lead at the beginning, something like seven seconds but I had a problem with my exhaust.
“One of the exhaust pipes broke, [although] I was still able to run, but I lost a little bit of power down the straight, so the driver behind me actually caught up and by the last lap he was half a second away from me. I’m really happy we were able to finish the job and get the win.”
Fittipaldi believes the signs are all there for him to have a good sophomore season in the category, and he is gunning for a second victory from pole position during Sunday’s final race of the weekend.
“It’s looking like it’s going to be a really good season,” said Fittipaldi. “Even in the pre-season testing we were really quick. But tomorrow, another job, we go race by race. We start on pole tomorrow, need to get a good start and win the race!”
Since moving to Lotus from Fortec Motorsports, Fittipaldi has already been made to feel right at home with his new team, and is eager to keep the positive start to the season going.
“The team is like a family already for me,” said Fittipaldi. “I really like to work with them a lot, my engineer is doing a great job as is everyone from the Lotus team
“It really suits my driving style well the car, I’m going to keep and try improving and keep trying to get more wins.”
When asked whether he would prefer to race in the wet or dry tomorrow for race two, Fittipaldi admitted he would not mind, although he knows starting from pole position, he would have an easier chance of securing a second win of the weekend if it was dry.
“To be honest I wouldn’t really mind,” insisted Fittipaldi. “A wet race would be quite fun, because it is more risk, more gamble for everyone, but since I’m starting on pole, I think the safest thing would be a dry race with a dry start.”