Pietro Fittipaldi has suffered some bad luck on his Formula 1 debut as he is set to pick up an engine penalty for the Sakhir Grand Prix.
Fittipaldi is one of two debutants in action for the second race in Bahrain, with the Brazilian deputising for Romain Grosjean who was ruled out of action following his horrific crash last Sunday. The other fresh face is Jack Aitken for Williams, filling in for George Russell who has stepped in for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes as he recovers from a positive Covid-19 test.
Fittipaldi has been racking up the laps as he tries to develop his track and car knowledge as much as possible ahead of his first Formula 1 race, but he looks set to start from the back before even attempting a run in qualifying.
The stand-in Haas driver has taken over Grosjean’s car and has therefore also taken over the engine component pool related to that car as well.
Overnight, Haas fitted a third Energy Store and a third Control Electronics which exceeds the number allowed without grid penalties being applied. That equates to a 15-place grid drop.
"The team have helped me with everything, the engineers did a great job talking me through things, and the mechanics have done a great job as well."@PiFitti on Friday's action.#HaasF1 #SakhirGP pic.twitter.com/E6XwguUAqT
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) December 4, 2020
Speaking after his Friday practice sessions, Fittipaldi said: “It was one year since I’ve driven the F1 car, eight months since I’ve driven anything and I came out here and took it step-by-step.
“But it’s crazy you know, you’re on the big stage now. This is the big league!
“So you go out for FP1 and it’s different because it’s a bunch of cameras and everyone filming and taking pictures, so you’ve just got to keep focused and keep calm.”
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