F1: Fittipaldi confirmed as Haas test driver for 2019
By Chris Medland | RACER magazine and RACER.com F1 correspondent
Pietro Fittipaldi has been named a Haas test driver for the 2019 season, and will take part in the post-season Pirelli tire test in Abu Dhabi later this month.
The grandson of double Formula 1 world champion and two-time Indy 500 winner Emerson, Fittipaldi made six starts for Dale Coyne Racing in the 2018 IndyCar Series with a best finish of ninth in Portland. The Brazilian will get his first taste of an F1 car during the Pirelli test after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and hopes it will lead to a full-time race seat at some stage.
“I’m extremely appreciative to have secured a role with Haas F1 Team as their test driver,” Fittipaldi said. “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.”
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Fittipaldi will test in Abu Dhabi alongside Louis Deletraz — meaning no race drivers will try the 2019 tires — but team principal Steiner is confident in the experience the 22-year-old will bring to the test driver role.
“I’m pleased to welcome Pietro Fittipaldi to Haas F1 Team and we look forward to working with him,” Steiner said. “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.”
Both Fittipaldi and Deletraz are present at Interlagos for this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix ahead of their testing debuts in Abu Dhabi.
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ABOUT CHRIS MEDLAND
While studying Sports Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, Chris managed to talk his way into working at the British Grand Prix in 2008 and was retained for three years before joining ESPN F1 as Assistant Editor. After three years at ESPN, a spell as F1 Editor at Crash Media Group was followed by the major task of launching F1i.com’s English-language website and running it as Editor. Present at every race since the start of 2014, he has continued building his freelance portfolio, working with international titles. As well as writing for RACER, he contributes to BBC 5Live and Sky Sports in the UK as well as working with titles in Japan and the Middle East.