Pietro Fittipaldi will make his Formula 1 debut this weekend at the Sakhir Grand Prix after Romain Grosjean was ruled out due to injury.
Haas F1 driver Grosjean suffered burns to the back of his hands in a terrifying accident during the first round of the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, leaving him under treatment in hospital.
Although Grosjean is set to be discharged from hospital on Tuesday, Haas has confirmed that he cannot compete in the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend.
As a result, Haas reserve driver Fittipaldi will receive the call to make his F1 debut, replacing Grosjean.
“After deciding that the best thing for Romain was to skip at least one race, the choice to put Pietro in the car was quite easy,” said Gunther Steiner, Haas F1 team manager.
“Pietro will be driving the VF-20 and he has known us for two seasons as a test and reserve driver.
“It’s the right thing to do and obviously a good opportunity for him. He’s been patient and always prepared for this opportunity, and now it’s come.”
“That’s why we want him in the car and I’m sure he’ll do a good job. It’s very demanding to be called at the last minute, but like I said, I think it’s is the right thing for Haas to do. “
Fittipaldi is the grandson of two-time F1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, and won the 2017 World Series Formula V8 3.5 title before appearing in IndyCar and once in Super Formula alongside his reserve Haas commitments.
The Brazilian admitted these weren’t “ideal” circumstances to make his debut, but thanked the team for their faith in putting him in the car.
“I’ve been with the team a lot this season, both on the track and in simulation sessions, so I know the operational procedures of the team during a Grand Prix weekend”, a- he declared.
“It will be exciting to make my first Formula 1 start. I will give it my all and look forward to starting free practice on Friday in Bahrain.”
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