Haas has confirmed reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi will make his F1 debut in place of Romain Grosjean for this weekend’s Sakhir GP.
Moments later that Haas updated about Guenther Steiner visiting the hospital to see Grosjean, where the team noted that the Frenchman would leave the hospital on Tuesday, they eventually confirmed that he will not drive in this weekend’s Sakhir GP.
Replacing Grosjean would be their reserve, Fittipaldi, who had been traveling with the Haas F1 team for almost all of the grand prix this year and had a valid superlicense as well to be able to drive. It would have been between him and Louis Deletraz.
But the Swiss racer will be racing in F2 on the same weekend. Therefore, a Fittipaldi name returns to the F1 grid for the first time in decades. The Miami-born Brazilian has titles in MRF Challenge and Formula 3.5 V8, as he has raced in IndyCar, DTM and WEC as well.
He has drive the 2018 and 2019 Haas cars but due to COVID-19, didn’t get to drive the 2020 machine. “After it was decided that the best thing for Romain (Grosjean) was to skip at least one race, the choice to put Pietro (Fittipaldi) in the car was pretty easy,” said Steiner.
“Pietro will drive the VF-20 and he’s familiar with us having been around the team for the past two seasons as a test and reserve driver. It’s the right thing to do and it’s obviously a good opportunity for him. He’s been patient and was always prepared for this opportunity – and now it has come.
“That’s why we want him in the car and I’m sure he’ll do a good job. It’s very demanding being called in at the last minute, but as I said, I think it’s the right thing to do for Haas F1 Team.” At the same time, Fittipaldi added:
“Most importantly I’m happy Romain (Grosjean) is safe and healthy. We’re all very happy his injuries are relatively minor after such a huge incident. Obviously, it’s not an ideal set of circumstances to get my first opportunity to compete in Formula 1, but I’m extremely grateful to Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for their faith in putting me behind the wheel this weekend.
“I’ve been with the team a lot this season, both trackside and working on simulator sessions, so I’m familiar with the team’s operating procedures on a grand prix weekend. It’s going to be exciting to make my first career start in Formula 1 – I’ll be giving it my all and I look forward to starting in free practice on Friday in Bahrain.”
While Fittipaldi was announced to drive for Haas, a 2021 prospect. Ferrari junior Callum Ilott confirmed that he won’t be racing in F1 next year. He is still in the F2 title hunt against Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, which will be decided this weekend.
It is time i announce that I have been told I will not be racing F1 in 2021. Obviously I have known this for a couple weeks now. I am disappointed, but I will just work harder and do what it takes to make sure it happens in 2022. Anyway, I have a championship I want to win ✌🏻 pic.twitter.com/hOzplyi1Bj
— Callum Ilott (@callum_ilott) November 30, 2020
Here’s everyone wishing Romain Grosjean well
Here’s the whole incident of Romain Grosjean