F1: Fittipaldi rules out IndyCar due to Haas role
By Chris Medland | RACER magazine and RACER.com F1 correspondent
Pietro Fittipaldi says he will not be able to race a full schedule in IndyCar next season due to his Haas commitments in Formula 1.
Haas named Fittipaldi as its official test driver for 2019 at the start of the month, a role which will see him doing simulator work but also busy during grand prix weekends. The 22-year-old raced in six IndyCar rounds for Dale Coyne Racing this year after having his campaign interrupted by two broken legs in a crash in the World Endurance Championship at Spa-Francorchamps, but says he won’t be able to return due to his new F1 role.
“We’re still looking at 2019,” Fittipaldi said.” Of course I want to be racing next year, the team wants me to be racing too, there’s just a certain amount of days… I have to find a championship that doesn’t clash a lot with the Formula 1 schedule. So we’re looking at that and we’ll have some news soon.
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“Unfortunately it has ruled out IndyCar. I love to race in IndyCar but it has [been ruled out] because there would be a lot of clashing. But we’re going to have something soon!”
Fittipaldi spoke after driving an F1 car for the first time during Tuesday’s Abu Dhabi tire test, and had mixed feelings after missing out on half of the day’s running due to a technical issue in the Haas.
“Yeah of course it was a little frustrating. I had just finished my first run. Obviously the first run I used to build up and feel how it was in the car. I felt comfortable so I was like ‘Alright, we’re going to put on a new set of tires, ultrasofts, and go’ but then we had the issue.
“But the team did a fantastic job replacing what had to be replaced and getting the car ready for me to get back out. I just want to say a big thank you to the team, they did really well on that side.
“Then we got back out and we did more than 50 laps. I think originally we planned to do more running but we did those laps, which was important. I felt comfortable in the car, we tested a lot of things. We tested the 2018 tires from Pirelli and then the 2019 tires so we had a back-to-back on that which is of course really important to the team so they can start working already for next year.
“So I was really happy in the end how it went and I was happy with the performance of the car and how the team helped me get up to speed. Just working with the engineers, you can see just by their results but I can tell now why they’re so good and efficient. They do a really, really good job.”
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