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Fittipaldi gets Haas F1 pre-season test runs

Pietro Fittipaldi will drive for Haas across two days of the first week of pre-season Formula 1 testing at Barcelona.

Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas F1

The grandson of two-time world champion Emerson joined Haas as its first development driver for the 2019 season. He made his testing debut for the team in Abu Dhabi last year as part of his early preparation for the role.

Haas race drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen will drive the first two days of the test next week, with Grosjean getting the first experience of the new VF-19 on Monday before handing over to Magnussen on Tuesday.

Grosjean will return for Wednesday morning before Fittipaldi takes over for the rest of the day. Fittipaldi will drive again on Thursday morning and Magnussen is due to complete the team’s programme.

“To have Pietro in the car is a big element for our simulator work,” said Haas team boss Gunther Steiner. “We’re always trying to improve that. 

"We need to have him in the car to validate if the simulator programme is going well or not. This is vital to our program going forward.”

The two half-days in the first week are scheduled to be Fittipaldi’s only on-track opportunities in pre-season testing. Magnussen will kick off the second week with him and Grosjean alternating full days.

“I’m really look forward to the test,” said Fittipaldi. “I got to test the 2018 car at the end of last year and now I get to try the 2019 car in pre-season testing.

“The main focus on the test will be to assist the team to develop the car as much as possible before the first race of the season.

“I’m sure there’ll be a lot of test items the team will want to go through. We’ll want to see how reliable the new car is, I’m sure we’ll be aiming for a lot of miles.

“The goal at the end of the day, as a driver, is to go as fast as possible, to drive the car as fast as you can, but it’s also to give the team really good feedback.

“That’s crucial to the development of the car before the first race.”

Haas F1 Team VF-18 with 2019 new livery

Haas F1 Team VF-18 with 2019 new livery

Photo by: Joe Portlock / LAT Images

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