Pietro Fittipaldi 'pushing hard' to become next Brazilian in F1


Felipe Massa's retirement from F1 at the end of the year will create a void of Brazilian drivers in the sport, but it is one Pietro Fittipaldi hopes to fill in the coming years.

The 21-year-old grandson of two-time world champion Emerson Fittipaldi secured the Formula V8 3.5 title last week in Bahrain, a conclusive step towards his ambition of bringing the family name back to F1.

Fittipaldi also took part in yesterday's WEC rookie test in Bahrain, driving Porsche's 919 Hybrid LMP1 car, but his plans for 2018 have yet to be determined.

"Formula 2 is a possibility," said Fittipaldi.

"My eyes are also set on F1. At the moment I’m focussed on single-seaters. Winning the World Series [F3.5] means I qualify for a superlicence, that helps me a lot for the future as well."

Next season will mark the first time since his famous grand-father's debut in 1970 that the F1 grid will lack a full-time representative from Brazil.

"Unfortunately there are no Brazilian drivers [set to be competing in 2018]," said Fittipaldi.

"Since my grandfather started racing in the early 70s, there has always been a Brazilian.

"We’ll be pushing hard to make it there. Hopefully I’ll not only make it to F1 but bring the Brazilian flag to the podium."

The young charger enjoyed his day of testing for Porsche yesterday at Sakhir, clocking in faster than fellow LMP1 Toyota rookies Fernando Alonso and Thomas Laurent, and approximately two seconds off a benchmark time set by Porsche's Timo Bernhard.

"The car is amazing," said Fittipaldi of his ride of the day.

"A lot of people told me about this car, how the four-wheel drive and the acceleration was going to be amazing, and it definitely was.

"The first run was just to get familiarised with everything, and second and third run I was able to push the limits of the car and I really enjoyed it."

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