Fittipaldi trades Baku reserve rights for Le Mans arc


Pietro Fittipaldi in the F1 paddock. Bahrain March 2022. Credit: PA Images

Pietro Fittipaldi will not be the reserve driver for Haas in Baku this weekend, as he will instead make his debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Brazilian admitted at the start of this season that he was disappointed to be overlooked for a racing seat at Haas in favor of Kevin Magnussen after Nikita Mazepin was dropped from the squad.

But the 25-year-old, Miami-born, who raced twice for Haas at the end of 2020 after Romain Grosjean’s horrific accident in Bahrain, continues to be the understudy for Magnussen and Mick Schumacher.

That won’t be the case for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, however, as Fittipaldi is racing the famed French endurance event himself – one of three drivers taking the wheel for the Inter Europol team in the prototype class. secondaries, LMP2.

“I’m very excited for the race,” said Fittipaldi. “Last year I raced the Indy 500 so I know how intense it was and I expect Le Mans to be something similar, just in terms of intensity and preparation. behind.

“You’re there for two weeks to prepare for the race and it means so much because Le Mans has so much history – it’s one of the most important races in the world, along with the Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix. These are the three great crowns.

“Every rider wants to win it, and racing there for the first time is pretty cool.”

Fittipaldi is no stranger to the Polish team he will be racing for, having raced for them in the previous two rounds of the European Le Mans series this year with finishing positions of 11th and 9th.

“We have a good car – in the first ELMS race we were in the top three with good pace but we had two tire punctures,” explained Fittipaldi.

“Last race we struggled a bit with the set-up but we hope to turn things around for Le Mans.”

As for his future racing plans, he added: “I’d like to stick to one series so I can focus on it, whether it’s full-time IndyCar, full-time F1 or full-time prototypes in endurance races.

Inter Europol also have a second car running at Le Mans with former Sauber and Haas F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez.

The former F1 contingent with the best chance of success, as they compete in the Hypercar class, are Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Kamui Kobayashi.

Felipe Nasr, Robert Kubica, Sébastien Bourdais, Will Stevens, Jack Aitken, Gianmaria Bruni and Giancarlo Fisichella will aim to win their respective categories.

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