Pietro Fittipaldi Will Run Ovals for Coyne/RWR

Photo: Chris Jones, Indycar

Pietro Fittipaldi announced this morning that he will drive the number 51 car for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR for the oval portion of the NTT Indycar series schedule. The car’s main driver, Romain Grosjean, will drive the road and street course events. Fittipaldi had a brief stint with Coyne in 2018, but didn’t complete the season after suffering injuries in a crash at Spa practicing for an endurance race.

He will also serve as a reserve drive for the Haas Formula 1 team, and will attend most of the F1 races.

“I love INDYCAR. I love oval racing as well. My first championship that I won was a late model championship at Hickory in a short track oval. That was in North Carolina. To be racing on ovals in INDYCAR, yeah, I’m very pleased with it. I’m happy,” Fittipaldi told the media during Indycar content day today.

He has goals of driving full time in either indycar or Formula 1, though it sounds as if would pregfer Indycfar.

“I have two ultimate goals in my mind. One is getting a full-time ride in INDYCAR. That’s one of my ultimate goals. Obviously one day winning races or winning the championship. The other one could be Formula 1, as well. One doesn’t hinder the other. The program that I had torace on the ovals with Dale, there’s no real conflicts. I’ll be going to the Formula 1 races, then flying back with enoughtime to do the oval races.But for me, either it’s Formula 1 or INDYCAR. If I can get a full-time ride in INDYCAR, for example, I would beextremely happy. It’s very difficult nowadays. The opportunities are very limited. So to get something like afull-time ride in INDYCAR, that’s a big goal for me. But the Formula 1 dream and stuff is still there as well. I have both of them. I’m lucky to be able to work with both series.”

Fittipaldi understands the importance of bringing the Fittipaldi name back to the series and to the Indianapolis 500.

“I have a whole family that understands a lot about racing, has a lot of history in racing, my grandfather, my cousin, my mom’s cousin, Christian, Max Papis as well was an uncle of mine. To have the name Fittipaldi represented on track, it’s a big privilege, a big honor. I’m going to be there representing the family. Who knows, maybe win an Indy 500. That’s the goal. That’s the dream.”

It will be nice to have another driver from a legendary racing family in the series, even though only for a few races.

Grosjean Update: Hospital Release Tuesday; Pietro Fittipaldi to Sub at Bahrain Race 2

Photo from Romain Grosjean’s Twitter account

Romain Grosjean, injured in a fiery crash in yesterday’s Gand Prix in Bahrain, is expected to be released from the hospital tomorrow. He is responding well to treatment of the burns on the back of his hands. Grosjean posted a video last night to reassure fans that he was okay, and posted another one this morning to thank everyone involkved in his rescue.

Pietro Fittipaldi, who is the Haas team reserve and test driver, will replace Grosjean for next weekend’s second Grand Prix in Bahrain. The course for the December 6 race is different from the one used Sunday. It has long straightaways and just four braking points. Fittipaldi, grandson of two time Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, drove in six Indycar races in 2018. His best finish was ninth at Portland.

Haas has not made a decision about who will drive in the final race of the year at Abu Dabi on December 13.

Pietro Fittipaldi

There is speculation that both Grosjean and Fittipaldi are under consideration for the open seat at A. J. Foyt Racing. It is not known whether Sunday’s incident has changed anything in that regard.