It is not uncommon for remarkable things to be discovered once the season has concluded, with drivers usually becoming more open to discussing certain topics.
This year has been no different, with it having been revealed by Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi that his brother, F2 driver Enzo Fittipaldi, had brain surgery following the conclusion of the 2021 season.
Enzo was involved in a horrific crash at the start of the F2 feature race in Saudi Arabia in 2021, where he was forced to miss the season finale in Abu Dhabi after fracturing his heel.
The grandson of F1 legend Emerson Fittipaldi only raced for part of the F2 season with Charouz, having competed in Indy Pro 2000 and F3 at the start of the year.
He had competed in a full F3 campaign in 2020 but massively under delivered, ending the season in 15th, resulting in Ferrari ending their support of the 21-year-old.
Despite his injury from Saudi Arabia, Enzo returned to F2 in 2022 and completed a full year in the junior category, where he ended the year in eighth place brilliantly.
It has only just been revealed, though, that he underwent surgery for a brain haemorrhage after the 2021 season, making his 2022 campaign that much more impressive.
“Yeah he’s doing an amazing job this year,” Enzo’s brother said, according to The Race.
“He had a massive accident last year, shattered his heel. A lot of people don’t know but when I was doing the test here last year [F1 Abu Dhabi young driver test], and I got COVID, I stayed stuck in quarantine for 14 days, that’s when he flew back home and he actually had brain haemorrhaging and they found it out and went to the emergency room.
“He had like very severe brain haemorrhaging so they had to do brain surgery on him and everything.
“We thought he wouldn’t be able to come back in the beginning of the season.
“Obviously he was fine after but it was a very close call and he came back still with the bone not fully recovered and struggled in the first two races but then had a mega season, six podiums, was fighting for top three in the championship here this weekend.
“It didn’t go their way [in the finale] but they still did pretty well and I’m super happy for him that he signed with Red Bull.
“I know how good Enzo is and for sure, the dream there is to have him race in F1 as well.”
Enzo’s super campaign has come with a potentially substantial reward, with the Brazilian having been snapped up by Red Bull, with the driver becoming the latest member of the Red Bull Junior Academy.
As well as this, he will move to Carlin for 2023 in F2, where he’ll presumably be targeting a title campaign, with the driver certainly having the back to do so.
Pietro is hopeful that his younger brother can continue to develop well, with the Haas reserve, who was driving in the post-season test, hopeful that the Fittipaldi brothers will race together in F1.
The Brazilian believes that would be “f***ing amazing”.
“We’re always super competitive with each other and that pushes us forward,” Pietro added.
“With my experience, I’m for sure going to help him as much as I can.
“He was here today [at the test] looking at some stuff and trying to give me some feedback in-between runs.
“And obviously the dream is to have both Fittipaldi brothers racing in F1 together, that would be f***ing amazing.
“All we can do is push, maximise every opportunity we have, like he’s been doing this year.”