Haas confirm two FP1 appearances for Pietro Fittipaldi

Jon Wilde
Pietro Fittipaldi in the F1 paddock. Bahrain March 2022.

Pietro Fittipaldi will fulfil the Haas requirement to run a rookie driver in FP1 at two grands prix this season, Mexico and Abu Dhabi being the venues.

The Brazilian only just scrapes within the criteria for being a rookie having made the maximum two F1 race starts, when he stood in for Romain Grosjean at the 2020 Sakhir and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix.

Those appearances came just after Grosjean had suffered burns and minor injuries in his horrific fireball crash in Bahrain, with Fittipaldi finishing 17th and 19th as his substitute.

The 26-year-old, born in Miami, has tested for Haas since 2019 and also fulfilled the reserve driver role for the last two seasons.

He will get his FP1 chance at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and Yas Marina while Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher sit out a session apiece.

“Super-excited to announce I’ll be doing the FP1 in Mexico and Abu Dhabi,” said Fittipaldi during a video released by the team. “I want to thank Haas F1 team for the great opportunity.

“I drove the car at the beginning of the year at Bahrain, but to get another chance to drive the VF-22 will be pretty amazing. It’s a very fast car and I’m looking forward to driving in Mexico and Abu Dhabi.”

Although his F1 opportunities have been limited, Fittipaldi has still been able to maintain a racing schedule in 2022 having competed in the LMP2 category of the European Le Mans Series which has one round to go.

His best result was second place last time out in the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps for the Inter Europol team.

While Magnussen has a contract to remain with Haas next year, the other race seat remains available while the team deliberate over whether to offer a third year to Mick Schumacher or bring in a more experienced racer such as Nico Hulkenberg.

Fittipaldi is not thought to be under consideration, especially given team principal Guenther Steiner said recently he is “done with rookies for the foreseeable future”, due to the number of times Schumacher has crashed this season and last year’s underwhelming, to say the least, performances of Nikita Mazepin.

Although it is not part of the rookie driver practice requirement, Haas will also run Ferrari-affiliated Antonio Giovinazzi in FP1 at the United States Grand Prix – with the Italian having been given a previous outing at Monza.

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