Pietro Fittipaldi Returns For Another Shot In IndyCar

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Pietro Fittipaldi will compete in four oval events for Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware this year, including the Indianapolis 500. (Andy Hone/LAT Images Photo)
Pietro Fittipaldi will compete in four oval events for Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware this year, including the Indianapolis 500. (Andy Hone/LAT Images Photo)

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Pietro Fittipaldi is getting a second chance at an NTT IndyCar Series ride.

The young driver will be in the cockpit for the four oval races at Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing aboard the No. 51 Honda.

Former Formula One driver Romain Grosjean will drive the car in the street and road course contests as previously announced.

Fittipaldi is Emerson Fittipaldi’s grandson. The elder Fittipaldi was one of the world’s greatest drivers, a two-time Formula One World Champion and a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner.

“I’m very happy to be racing the ovals this season in the No. 51 car for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR,” Fittipaldi said. “I’m especially excited for the Indianapolis 500. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid to race in the Indy 500. All of Dale’s cars were competitive there last year and the last few years, and we’re looking to do the same this year.

“I’m also very happy to be sharing the car with Romain (Grosjean). He’s a good friend of mine. Over the years at Haas F1 we’ve become friends and it’s great to be teammates with him again. Coincidentally the No. 51 is the same number I used in my Formula One debut last year so it’s a nice coincidence to have. I’ve worked with some of the guys at Dale Coyne Racing in the past so I’m happy to be working with them once again. I’m sure we’ll able to do great things. I’m really looking forward to it.”

The 2017 World Series Formula V8 3.5 Champion first joined Dale Coyne Racing in 2018 for a partial season where he ended up taking part in six races. The American-born Brazilian driver made his debut at Phoenix Raceway, where he qualified 10th in his series debut.

The 24-year-old was initially scheduled to attempt to qualify for his first Indianapolis 500 that year, but an accident during qualifying at a World Endurance Championship round at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in early May 2018 sidelined him for a couple of months and ended his chance of turning his first laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that year.

“We enjoyed working with Pietro in 2018, it’s unfortunate that his season was shorter than planned, so it’s great to be able to give him another chance to do some races in the NTT IndyCar Series and that he has another chance to participate in the Indy 500 and fulfill one of his childhood dreams,” team owner Dale Coyne said. “We look forward to seeing him share our #51 entry alongside his former Haas F1 teammate Romain Grosjean, it gives us a strong line up for our full-time entry.”

Fittipaldi returned to the cockpit at the Mid-Ohio round later that season and picked up his best finish at the penultimate round of that season at Portland Int’l Raceway with a ninth-place finish.

Following his first stint with Dale Coyne Racing in 2018, Fittipaldi became the official test and reserve driver for the Haas F1 Team, competed in the DTM series and the F3 Asian Championship. More recently, he made his Formula One debut last December with the Haas F1 Team as a replacement for current teammate Grosjean after Grosjean was injured in a fiery crash in Bahrain, taking part in the two final rounds of the season.

In addition to his four races with Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, Fittipaldi will continue as the Haas F1 Team reserve driver for the upcoming season.

Fittipaldi’s NTT IndyCar Series season will kick off at the Texas Motor Speedway doubleheader May 1-2 before heading to Indianapolis to turn his first practice laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.