Haas announce 2023 reserve driver after Mick Schumacher snub

Pietro Fittipaldi has started two races in Formula 1 for Haas, both of which came in the 2020 season.

Ahead of the upcoming 2023 season, Haas have confirmed that Pietro Fittipaldi will remain as the team’s reserve driver for a fifth consecutive season, with the Brazilian being “super excited” to retain his role once again.

2023 is set to be a busy year for the son of double World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, with the 26-year-old set to compete in the World Endurance Championship and some rounds of the IMSA, alongside his Haas role.

Fittipaldi did, of course, compete for the Americans in two races during the 2020 COVID-hit season, after replacing Romain Grosjean at the final two races of the campaign following the Frenchman’s horror crash in Bahrain.

The Brazilian will likely make more appearances in free practice this season in place of either Kevin Magnussen or Nico Hulkenberg, with the driver looking forward to driving the VF-23.

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“I’m very happy to be continuing with MoneyGram Haas F1 Team, a team that I consider family,” said Fittipaldi. 

“It will be my fifth season in Formula 1 as the Official Reserve & 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.”  

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has hailed Fittipaldi as a “proven performer”, with the Brazilian being key to the team’s “strong foundations”.

“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,” said Steiner.  

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“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.”