Pietro Fittipaldi and Louis Deletraz will continue in their role as the official test and reserve drivers of the Haas F1 Team for the 2020 season.
The announcement was due to be made during the course of the Australian GP but for various reasons it couldn’t be made. And so Haas has now announced that both Fittipaldi and Deletraz have been retained as its test and reserve F1 drivers.
Both Fittipaldi and Deletraz were fully immersed in a simulator programme in 2019 F1 season, where the Brazilian even drove the car on multiple occasions. Post the Abu Dhabi tyre test, he noted that he would like to continue with Haas in an expanded role.
It is unsure if Pietro Fittipaldi will get to drive the car in any of the FP1 session but he is expected to represent Haas in the Virtual Grand Prix Series along with Louis Deletraz. The Swiss racer did not get to drive the F1 car in 2019 but had the chance in 2018.
“Naturally, we had intended to make this announcement over the course of the Australian Grand Prix to start the season, but events both there and globally took priority with the on-going COVID-19 outbreak,” said team principal Guenther Steiner.
“Pietro (Fittipaldi) and Louis (Deletraz) have both proven themselves to us over the past 12 months and we’re delighted to confirm them both as official test and reserve drivers for Haas F1 Team. Their work in the simulator was undoubtedly of value as we faced our challenges last season.
“And we’re excited to continue to present them with further opportunities to expand their relationship with the team in 2020 when we can return to work. I look forward to them adding significant input into our own race program supporting Romain (Grosjean) and Kevin (Magnussen) and the whole engineering team with the Haas VF-20.”
Speaking on continuing the association, Fittipaldi stated: “I can’t wait to build on the role I developed with Haas F1 Team last season. My thanks go to Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for the continued opportunity and belief in my work behind the wheel.
“You never stop learning in F1 whether you’re spending hours in the simulator or physically behind the wheel of the actual car – something I’ve done a lot of with Haas recording over 2000 kilometers in testing.
“It’s a thrill to be able to do both and have the association with this team and all it’s accomplished in such a short span of time in our sport.” At the same time, Deletraz added: “To be an official test and reserve driver in F1 is another step along the way to reaching my ultimate goal of competing in Formula One.
“I made my debut in a Formula 1 car with Haas F1 Team and I’m naturally thrilled that we have developed that opportunity, as well as my simulator work last season, into an official role as a test and reserve driver. I would like to thank Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for adding me to the program in this capacity.
“The bonus for me is that with Formula 2 on the support bill at a variety of Grand Prix events, I know they will get to see me race and I can spend more time embedding myself with the team when the timetable allows.”
For now Fittipaldi has no racing plans as his announced Super Formula programme was cancelled last minute with Sergio Sette Camara getting the nod. Deletraz, meanwhile, will race for Charouz Racing System in FIA Formula 2 Championship.
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