Fittipaldi in talks for 2019 Super Formula return
Haas Formula 1 test driver Pietro Fittipaldi says he is in discussions to make a full-time return to Super Formula in 2019.
Fittipaldi was due to complete a part-season in Japan’s premier single-seater championship this year with Team LeMans, but was forced to abort that plan after just one race after suffering a high-speed crash in the Spa FIA World Endurance Championship round.
Since recovering from the injuries he sustained, which included a broken left leg and right ankle, Fittipaldi prioritised IndyCar over his other commitments, taking part in the last five races of the season.
However, the Brazilian has now shown interest in making a Super Formula comeback, and was in attendance at the Suzuka post-season test earlier this week.
“Yeah, I came [to Suzuka] just to have meetings,” Fittipaldi told Motorsport.com. “Obviously Super Formula is a great championship, looking maybe at the possibility of next year.
“Of course it will be great if I can race in Super Formula if it’s in the correct package and we can be competitive. We think it’s something very interesting.
“I came to follow the test and I know Timo [Rumpfkeil] from Motopark for many years. So he let me follow the test with the team.
“So I just came to follow the test and have some meetings and see everyone at Team LeMans, because last time I saw them was before my accident."
The 22-year-old added: “We are in talks to some of the Super Formula teams. So I’m confident. I’d love to be racing in Super Formula.
"There are also other series I’m looking at, the right package that fits my [F1] schedule [with Haas] and obviously in a competitive ride.”
Pietro Fittipaldi, Team LeMans
Photo by: Tomohiro Yoshita
Fittipaldi had earlier stated that his revised IndyCar schedule would have allowed him to take part in the Super Formula decider in October and has now revealed that LeMans chose to retain his substitute Tom Dillmann to maintain continuity within the team.
Dillmann was originally due to take part in only two races that didn’t clash with Fittipaldi’s original IndyCar or WEC commitments, but ended up contesting almost the whole season after the Brazilian’s crash.
“I wanted to continue in Super Formula, but the only problem is I was also racing in IndyCar,” Fittipaldi said. “So when I had my accident I had to change my IndyCar schedule.
“When I changed my schedule, I wasn’t able to do Super Formula - I had too many clashes. But I was able to do the last race in Suzuka but the team they wanted to keep a consistent driver, the same driver.
“So it didn’t make sense for me to come to do the last race. So it was unfortunate that I couldn’t continue.”