Haas F1 had been in talks with Fittipaldi before WEC crash

Pietro Fittipaldi (BRA)
© WRI2

The Haas team has confirmed that it has been in discussions with Brazilian driver Pietro Fittipaldi about a possible future role with the Formula 1 team.

However, Fittipaldi was involved in a massive accident while qualifying for the first race of the FIA World Endurance Championship 2018/9 'superseason' last week.

The grandson of former world champion Emerson Fittipaldi crashed the #10 DragonSpeed BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 car high speed at Eau Rouge at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit last Friday.

The 21-year-old suffered a fracture to his left leg and right ankle. He subsequently underwent a successful operation after being airlifted to a local hospital.

"There was nothing set, we were just talking about it," Hass boss Guenther Steiner told journalists at Barcelona on Thursday. "He contacted us. I know his grandfather Emerson. They said, ‘Can we do something together?'

"Then the accident happened," he continued. "I spoke with Pietro, I WhatsApped with him, and spoke with his grandfather.

"We didn't stop talking," Steiner continued. "But we stopped talking about a test, because we don't know what can be done."

Reports suggest that Fittipaldi could face at least eight weeks of recuperation and rehabilitation before he's able to drive.

That rules him out of competing in this month's Indianapolis 500, which he had been due to enter with Dale Coyne Racing. The team is currently urgently seeking a replacement driver for the iconic event.

"He's well on the way to getting better," continued Steiner. "That's the most important thing for me.

"In the moment we let him get well and then we’ll see what we are doing."

Currently the US-based team uses the services of Santino Ferrucci and Arjun Maini in development and test roles.

It's uncertain what capacity Fittipaldi might have been picked up. Even the boss is unsure where the talks were likely to lead. He said that the discussions hadn't reached the point of any details.

"Anything is possible in the future," he insisted. "I could say yes to everything or no to everything, because I don't know."

As well IndyCar and acting as a stand-in for DragonSpeed team regular Renger van der Zande in WEC, Fittipaldi is also competing in the Japanese Super Formula this season.

He's expected to be recovered in time for the next round of that series at Fuji in July.

He could return to IndyCar in time for the race at Mid-Ohio, but that would clash with any potential involvement in the F1 in-season test in Hungary.

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