The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career
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The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

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Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

“People ask me about my career,” said Emerson Fittipaldi, “but, really, I had two completely separate careers. When I retired from Formula 1, in 1980, I thought I was giving up driving for good. By 1984, though, I was on the grid at Indianapolis…” 

Fittipaldi’s rise in motor racing was swift. Born in Sao Paulo in 1946, he excelled in local karting events, and by 1969 had moved to England, where he so impressed in Formula Ford, then Formula 3, that by mid-1970 he was invited to join the Lotus Formula 1 squad. At Hockenheim, only his second race, Emerson finished a remarkable fourth in an obsolete 49; for Monza, Emerson was allotted a 72, the car with which Jochen Rindt set course for the world championship. 

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