Thu, 21 Jan 2021

Sakhir [Bahrain], November 30 (ANI): Brazil's Pietro Fittipaldi will make his Formula 1 debut with Haas in the Sakhir Grand Prix as he will replace injured Romain Grosjean.

"Grosjean sustained hand injuries during last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix and is unable to compete in Round 16 of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship hosted at the Bahrain International Circuit," Haas said.

Earlier in the day, Haas said that Grosjean, who is being treated at Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) hospital after the horrific accident at Bahrain Grand Prix, will be discharged from the hospital on December 1.

Grosjean is currently being treated for the burns sustained on the back of both his hands. He escaped the lap 1 crash within seconds of the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday. Grosjean suffered minor injuries after his car struck a barrier and caught fire.

Fittipaldi has attended the majority of Formula 1 races this season in his test and reserve driver role with the team - holding a career resume which includes a Formula V8 3.5 Championship title and several starts in IndyCar Series competition.

Grandson of two-time FIA Formula 1 World Champion and double Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, Pietro has tested previously with Haas F1 Team in its VF-18 in 2018 and the VF-19 in 2019. Friday's opening practice sessions in Bahrain will mark the first time behind the wheel of the VF-20 this season for Fittipaldi.

"After it was decided that the best thing for Romain (Grosjean) was to skip at least one race, the choice to put Pietro (Fittipaldi) in the car was pretty easy," stated team principal Guenther Steiner.

"Pietro will drive the VF-20 and he's familiar with us having been around the team for the past two seasons as a test and reserve driver. It's the right thing to do and it's obviously a good opportunity for him," he added.

Fittipaldi is excited to make his Formula 1 debut this weekend.

"Most importantly I'm happy Romain (Grosjean) is safe and healthy. We're all very happy his injuries are relatively minor after such a huge incident. Obviously, it's not an ideal set of circumstances to get my first opportunity to compete in Formula 1, but I'm extremely grateful to Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for their faith in putting me behind the wheel this weekend," said Fittipaldi. (ANI)

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