Sadly we couldn’t do this interview personally, but the many-sided Pietro Fittipaldi gave a solution, and spoke about really exciting topics, like his debut in Formula 1, his role in Haas, or the difference between the Indycar and F1.
2020 was a big challenge for everybody, especially for you. How do you feel, what was your biggest challenge, and what was your biggest success of 2020?
Yes, 2020 was a test for everybody. My biggest challenge of the year was the pandemic, obviously! I was in quarantine with my family in the United States for long weeks. It was difficult for many reasons, but at least I was with my family, and I’m really happy about it! Then I came back to Europe, I travelled to race weekends with Haas, and with my brother Enzo to Formula 3, but it was more difficult than before, just think to Covid tests before enter to any country. Or much more paperwork about flying which we never had to do. I planned to drive in Japan, in Super Formula, but sadly I couldn’t travel and race beacuse the pandemic. I spent 9 months without racing, before jump into the Formula 1 car. It was extremly hard for me, beacuse I usually spend max 2-3 months without driving, but in 2020 it was 9 months.
You know what happenned with Romain Grosjean in Bahrain… luckly he survived the accident, but then I had my F1 debut, and it was my biggest success. I got the opportunity to drive in Formula 1, on two race weekends. The second one, my race in Abu Dhabi was especially good! I had very good pace, I overtook Kevin, and had battles with other cars. Sadly I had an extra pit stop, due to an engine issue, so the final result wasn’t the best, but I’m satisfied with my pace.
You are the reserve driver of the Haas Formula 1 Team. What is your job in the team? How does your job come visible?
True, I’m the reserve driver of Haas. I travel to race weekend with the team. I try to stay ready if anything happen. I do lot of simulator work, and sometimes test the car. Nowadays teams doesn’t have too much chance to test, this is why I work a lot in the simulator. My job is to work hard, to do simulator work, to test the car, to support the team and to be ready if they need it.
You were born in the USA. You live in the USA. But you also wear the Brazilian flag. How do you feel, is the bigger part of you American or Brazilian?
I was born in Miami, in the United States, beacuse my parents moved there from Brazil. So I started the racing in Florida. But I race under the Brazilian flag, beacuse my family is from there, my heart is Brazilian.
We hope 2021 will be much better for everybody. What are your goals for this year?
I hope the things will come back to the normal way in 2021. I hope the people will be vaccinated, but we should be careful during the year. I think they have to deal with the virus, better than last year. My goals for this year… I want to race again. Ok, I did 2 Formula 1 races, but before it I had just few races in Asian F3 at the beginning of 2020. So I need to race again in this year. I’m working for finalize a deal about racing, but I keep my eye on F1, it would be really good for me. I want to keep my reserve driver role, it would be fantastic.
The difference between Indycar and F1 is always a topic. You competed in both series, so how do you feel, what is the difference between them?
Yeah, I competed in both series, in F1 and Indycar, I feel it’s a cool thing. One big different is that the Indycar races are on road courses, street circuits and ovals, but F1 races are only on road courses and street circuits. F1 car is faster and lighter one, it has better acceleration, more power and more downforce.
But the Indycar has the best top speed. The top speed is really crazy there… on the ovals the top is 380 km/h! Sometimes he average lap speed on oval is 370 km/h, it’s unbelievable! So the Indycar has higher top speed than F1, and honestly I really enjoy the racing on the oval. The adrenalin is really high there. Extremly high speed, close to the wall, the cars are really close to each other. Really risky, but I love it. Opposite to it, in the F1, a car has so much downforce, it can brake so late, it’s so fast in the corners. But the machine in the Indycar has to be heavier, to protect the drivers ont he ovals.
Source: Pietro Fittipaldi, Getty Images