Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi will replace Romain Grosjean at this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix, the American racing outfit has confirmed on Monday.
“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,” Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said in a statement.
“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 added.
Meanwhile, Fittipaldi said the most important thing is Romain Grosjean is safe.
“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,” Pietro Fittipaldi, the grandson of two-time F1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, said.
“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,” the Brazilian racing driver added.
Grosjean was fortunate to only suffer minor burns as a result of his horror crash on Sunday.
It is believed he will be discharged from hospital on Tuesday, but it’s yet to be decided if he will compete in the season finale at Abu Dhabi which will take place in less than two weeks.