The Haas F1 Team confirmed on Monday that Pietro Fittipaldi, their official test and reserve driver will drive in place of the injured Romain Grosjean for this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix following a ing the Frenchman’s horrific crash in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
In a statement, Haas F1 Team Principal Günther Steiner said:
“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,” stated team principal Guenther 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.”
Fittipaldi, the Grandson of former champion Emerson Fittipaldi commented saying:
“Most importantly I’m happy Romain (Grosjean) is safe and healthy,” remarked Pietro Fittipaldi. “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.”