Pietro Fittipaldi, who stood in for the injured Romain Grosjean for the final two races of the 2020 Formula 1 season, has been reconfirmed as the test and reserve driver for the Haas F1 Team for 2021.
The Brazilian, the grandson of two-time Formula 1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, tested the VF-18 and VF-19 in 2018 and 2019 before racing in the VF-20 in the Sakhir and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2020 whilst Grosjean recovered from his injuries caused by his first lap fiery crash in Bahrain.
Despite no experience of the VF-20 prior to the Sakhir weekend, Fittipaldi did a good job across both of his races, and he is excited for continuing his relationship with Haas into 2021.
“I’m very happy to be able to continue into my third year with Haas F1 Team,” said Fittipaldi. “I’m grateful to Gene (Haas) and Guenther (Steiner) 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.”
Guenther Steiner, the Team Principal at Haas, is delighted to be able to have Fittipaldi back with the team for 2021, and he believes the two races he competed in with the outfit last year will stand him in good stead for the upcoming campaign.
“We’re all delighted to continue our relationship with Pietro Fittipaldi,” said 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.
“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.”