Haas F1 has announced that Pietro Fittipaldi will remain the team’s test and reserve driver in 2023 following confirmation of his racing program for the year ahead.
The Miami-born Brazilian has been part of the Haas set-up since the start of the 2019 season, and started two races for the team in 2020 as a replacement for Romain Grosjean after his fiery crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix. He has also had a number of testing outings and completed two FP1s last year, helping him stay as familiar as possible with the new generation of Formula 1 car.
After chasing an IndyCar seat for this year, Fittipaldi has locked in LMP2 racing programs in both IMSA and the World Endurance Championship, allowing him to continue in the reserve role, and team principal Guenther Steiner says he is perfectly suited after adapting well to the 2022 car.
“I’ve said before that continuity and consistency is key to success in Formula 1, and Pietro remaining with the team for 2023 makes me believe that we have strong foundations,” Steiner said. “In Formula 1, you need to be able to react within the smallest of margins to any scenario, and Pietro is a proven performer and is ready to step in at any time to get behind the wheel and drive, as he did twice in 2020.
“Last season he took part in pre-season testing, two free-practice sessions and post-season testing in the VF-22 and surprisingly, unlike many drivers on the grid, he’s said this car suits his aggressive style, which is music to my ears when track time is so limited. He’s an asset to our team so I look forward to seeing his continuation with us this season.”
Steiner waited for Fittipaldi to sort his racing future before addressing his role, and the 26-year-old says he enjoys being able to contribute to Haas’ recent progress.
“I’m very happy to be continuing with MoneyGram Haas F1 Team, a team that I consider family,” Fittipaldi said. “It will be my fifth season in Formula 1 as the official reserve and test driver for Haas and I’m super-excited to be going into 2023 coming off the back of a very competitive season.
“Last year I did two free practice sessions, tested at the beginning of the year and at the end of season test so we’ve already been able to try some stuff for the new season. I’m excited to see the new car and new developments, and I hope that we’re able to make an even bigger step forward with the VF-23.”