November 9, 2018 / 4:10 PM / 8 days ago

Fittipaldi's grandson joins Haas F1 team as test driver

FILE PHOTO: Formula 1 F1 - Bahrain Grand Prix - Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain - April 6, 2018 Haas' Romain Grosjean during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Pietro Fittipaldi, 22-year-old grandson of Brazil’s two times Formula One world champion Emerson, will be official test driver for Haas next year, the U.S.-owned team said on Friday.

The Miami-born Brazilian will also take part in a Pirelli tyre test in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 27.

Team principal Guenther Steiner said Fittipaldi, whose grandfather is also a two times Indianapolis 500 winner, would bring “a championship-winning pedigree” from his junior open-wheel career and IndyCar.

“We’re happy to provide Pietro his first test in a Formula One car off the back of those experiences,” he said in a statement at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“His subsequent role (in) testing, and the feedback he’ll provide in support of our 2019 campaign, will no doubt further contribute to Haas F1 team’s growth and development in Formula One.”

Fittipaldi made six starts for Dale Coyne Racing in the U.S. IndyCar series this year, five after returning from a broken leg suffered during a World Endurance Championship race at Spa in Belgium last May.

“I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the VF-18 in Abu Dhabi. I’ll carry that experience forward into 2019, and hopefully into a race seat in Formula One in the future,” he said.

Haas have confirmed Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen and Frenchman Romain Grosjean as their two race drivers for 2019.

Emerson Fittipaldi won his titles with Lotus and McLaren in 1972 and 1974 respectively.

Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis

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