Podcast: Pitstop

Published Date:

Mon, 02 Oct 2023 13:47:26 -0000






Pietro Fittipaldi

Please note that the summary is generated based on the transcript and may not capture all the nuances or details discussed in the podcast episode.


Haas Formula 1 reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi on the show!! Welcome back to Pitstop, we've got a GREAT episode for you today. This hour chat is full of crazy stories & Behind the scenes insight of how the F1 world works. AND PIETROS LAP.. WOW! From Nascar to Indy car to Formula 1.. Pietro has already had a quite truly incredible career. Would you guys like to see a Fittipaldi Bros SPECIAL Enzo + Pietro episode? LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE for many more guests & Thank you for supporting our channel. We're buzzing with 80k subscribers! You guys rock🀘🏼πŸ’₯

Pietro, thank you so much for taking the time to join us on the show. We know you have a crazy schedule and it was great to get you in the flat to make his happen. We appreciate it!πŸ‘ŠπŸ»
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**Navigating the Complexities of the Formula One Racing World with Pietro Fittipaldi**

**A Journey Through the Tracks: From NASCAR to Formula One**

Pietro Fittipaldi, a Brazilian-American racing driver, joins the podcast to share his remarkable journey through the world of motorsports. Born into a racing legacy, Fittipaldi's passion for speed and adrenaline began at an early age. Growing up in Miami, he was captivated by the Daytona 24 Hours race, igniting his desire to pursue a career in racing.

At the age of four, Fittipaldi received his first go-kart, marking the start of his racing career. From local karting events in Florida to competing against future Formula One drivers in the United States, Fittipaldi honed his skills and developed a competitive spirit. However, the path to Formula One was not without challenges.

**Finding Success in Unconventional Routes: NASCAR and IndyCar**

Recognizing the financial constraints of pursuing a career in European karting, Fittipaldi opted for a different route: NASCAR. Competing in late model races in North Carolina, he faced fierce competition from seasoned drivers and experienced the unique camaraderie and intensity of short-track oval racing.

Fittipaldi's success in NASCAR caught the attention of Telmex, a Mexican telecommunications company with a passion for promoting Mexican drivers in motorsports. Telmex offered Fittipaldi a sponsorship, enabling him to make the transition to European racing.

Fittipaldi's European journey began in the United Kingdom, where he competed in various junior formulas, including British Formula Renault and British F4. His talent and determination shone through as he secured victories and championships, propelling him towards his ultimate goal: Formula One.

**Stepping into the Spotlight: Formula One Debut and Reserve Driver Role**

In 2020, Fittipaldi received the call that every aspiring Formula One driver dreams of. Following Romain Grosjean's accident, Fittipaldi was thrust into the spotlight as Haas F1 Team's replacement driver for the final two races of the season. Despite the immense pressure and limited preparation time, Fittipaldi showcased his capabilities, demonstrating his composure and racing instincts.

Although a full-time Formula One seat has remained elusive, Fittipaldi's role as a reserve driver for Haas has provided him with valuable experience and insights into the pinnacle of motorsport. He actively participates in testing, development, and simulator work, continuously honing his skills and staying race-ready.

**Exploring New Horizons: Endurance Racing and Future Aspirations**

Fittipaldi's racing career has extended beyond Formula One. He has ventured into endurance racing, competing in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) with Team Jota. This new challenge has brought him success, including podium finishes and the opportunity to race against some of the world's top drivers.

Fittipaldi remains open to exploring different racing disciplines, including a potential return to NASCAR or IndyCar. However, his ultimate goal remains securing a full-time Formula One seat. He recognizes the intense competition and limited opportunities in the sport, but his unwavering determination and impressive performances keep his dream alive.

**From Unexpected Opportunity to Thrilling Performance**

Pietro's journey to Formula One was marked by an unexpected turn of events. Following a long break from driving, he received a call from Gunther Steiner, the Team Principal of Haas F1 Team, offering him the chance to race in the final two races of the 2020 Formula One season. Despite the short notice and lack of recent race experience, Pietro embraced the opportunity and delivered impressive performances.

**The Significance of Family Legacy and Support**

Pietro acknowledges the significant influence of his grandfather, Emerson Fittipaldi, and his uncles, Wilson and Christian Fittipaldi, all of whom have achieved success in motorsports. Their support and guidance have been instrumental in shaping Pietro's career and fueling his passion for racing.

**Balancing Pressure and Internal Motivation**

Pietro acknowledges the pressure that comes with the Fittipaldi name and the expectations associated with it. However, he emphasizes that his primary motivation stems from within, driven by his desire to succeed and perform at the highest level.

**The Unique Bond of Brothers in Racing**

Pietro shares his close relationship with his brother, Enzo Fittipaldi, who is also a racing driver. They often seek advice and support from each other, creating a strong bond that extends beyond the competitive aspect of the sport.

**The Role of Simulators in Formula One**

Pietro discusses the importance of simulator work in Formula One, highlighting its role in testing car setups, evaluating new parts, and preparing for race weekends. He emphasizes the extensive time and effort dedicated to simulator sessions, which can involve long hours of driving and data analysis.

**The Thrilling and Dangerous Eau Rouge Corner**

Pietro reflects on his experience with a severe crash at the Eau Rouge corner during a World Endurance Championship race. He describes the terrifying moments leading up to the impact, the subsequent pain, and the long recovery process. Despite the traumatic incident, Pietro maintains his love for the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, considering it his favorite track.

**Overcoming Adversity and Returning to Racing**

After his accident, Pietro faced a challenging rehabilitation process, determined to return to racing as soon as possible. He credits the exceptional medical care he received and his unwavering determination for his remarkable recovery.

**The Balancing Act of Racing and Personal Life**

Pietro acknowledges the challenges of maintaining a personal life while pursuing a demanding racing career. The constant travel and time commitment required by the sport make it difficult to maintain relationships and establish a stable home life.

**The Future of Formula One and Pietro's Aspirations**

Pietro expresses his excitement about the future of Formula One, particularly the introduction of new technologies and the increasing popularity of the sport. He remains focused on his goals of achieving success in Formula One and potentially transitioning to other racing series in the future.

**Record-Breaking Performance on the Simulator:**

They discuss a thrilling moment as Pietro sets an extraordinary record on the Formula One simulator, securing a top-four position with remarkable lap times. The hosts express their amazement at Pietro's exceptional skills and the significance of his achievement.

**Insights into Formula One:**

Pietro shares his experiences as a Haas Reserve Driver, providing valuable insights into the inner workings of a Formula One team. He emphasizes the importance of simulator work in preparing for race weekends and highlights the challenges drivers face during races, such as managing tire wear and fuel consumption.

**Scariest Moments in Career:**

When asked about the scariest moments in his career, Pietro recalls two harrowing incidents. The first was a severe crash in 2018 that left him with twisted legs and required extensive rehabilitation. The second occurred during a Formula 2 race when his brother, Enzo Fittipaldi, was involved in a serious accident right in front of him. Despite the terrifying nature of these experiences, Pietro maintains a positive outlook and acknowledges the importance of moving forward and learning from such incidents.

**Coping with Disappointing Races:**

Pietro reflects on his emotional state after a bad race. He admits to feeling frustrated and disappointed immediately afterward, but emphasizes the importance of moving on quickly and focusing on the next race. He also discusses the impact of factors beyond his control, such as mechanical issues or strategic decisions, on his emotional response to a disappointing race.

**A Typical Day at the Factory:**

Pietro provides a glimpse into his routine when working at the team's factory. He describes spending long hours on the simulator, developing and improving the Formula One game. He also shares his amusing experience with the underwhelming food options at the Ferrari factory, expressing his preference for the exceptional barbecue in Austin, Texas.

**Favorite Country to Race In:**

When asked about his favorite country to race in, Pietro enthusiastically mentions Austin, Texas. He praises the city's vibrant atmosphere and the delicious barbecue available there, particularly at Terry Black's Barbecue. He also expresses his desire to experience the city's famous bull-riding attraction.

**Talking to Himself During Races:**

Pietro reveals that he sometimes engages in self-criticism while driving, especially when he makes mistakes. He admits to uttering profanities in frustration, but acknowledges the importance of maintaining composure and avoiding expressing such thoughts over the team radio.

**Favorite Formula One Driver from Childhood:**

Pietro names Fernando Alonso as his favorite Formula One driver from his childhood. He admires Alonso's exceptional skills and believes he deserved more than two world championships. He refers to Alonso as "the king" of Formula One.

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