Formula 1 2020: Haas boss Guenther Steiner backs Pietro Fittipaldi shine in Romain Grosjean’s spot in Sakhir GP

After two years waiting for his chance, Fittipaldi will be the first member of his famous family to race in F1 since his cousin Christian

Agence France-Presse December 03, 2020 23:22:58 IST
Formula 1 2020: Haas boss Guenther Steiner backs Pietro Fittipaldi shine in Romain Grosjean’s spot in Sakhir GP

File image of Pietro Fittipaldi. Image credit: Twitter/@HaasF1Team

Manama: Haas team chief Guenther Steiner said on Thursday that reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi will prove his value as substitute for fireball crash survivor Romain Grosjean at this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix.

Fittipaldi is the grandson of double Formula One champion Emerson. Meanwhile, Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time champion Michael, will become one of the team's two drivers next season in an all-rookie pairing with Russian Nikita Mazepin.

Steiner said it was Ferrari's decision to promote their academy graduate Mick Schumacher.

"Ferrari decided that Mick would be the one to be promoted from the juniors and, of course, that was fine for me," Steiner told Speedweek.com.

The youngsters will replace Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen in the American outfit, but Steiner was at pains to declare that the 25-year-old Fittipaldi, was worthy of his opportunity — and not just 'a mascot'.

"It will be easy for him to be brought in," he said. "We didn't bring him with us as a mascot. He knew this could be coming. He's not here because he doesn't know what to do."

After two years waiting for his chance, Fittipaldi will be the first member of his famous family to race in F1 since his cousin Christian, remembered for surviving a 'backflip' somersault at Monza while racing for Minardi at the 1993 Italian Grand Prix.

Steiner added: "There will be challenges and it will be difficult to have a good result, given our car performance this year, especially on this race track, which is basically three straights connected by three corners, or a little bit more but not many!"

He added that he was waiting to see if Grosjean can recover sufficiently from his burns and other minor injuries to take part in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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