Pietro Fittipaldi is returning to the NTT IndyCar Series. Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing announced today that Fittipaldi will drive the No. 51 Honda for the four oval races this season, including the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May. The 24-year old made his IndyCar debut in 2018 with Coyne but was not able to compete in the Indy 500, where his two-time Formula 1 World Champion grandfather Emerson won in 1989 and 1993.
Fittipaldi will share driving duties with his former Haas F1 and now current IndyCar teammate, Romain Grosjean. Pietro will resume his role as Haas F1 test driver again this year. The team intends to enter a third car at Indianapolis this year, with James Davison as the favorite to get that seat. Ed Jones will be running the full-season for the Coyne/Vasser Sullivan team in the No. 18 Honda. The full press release from today is below.
[Dale Coyne Racing w/ RWR Press Release]
Pietro Fittipaldi is returning to the team with which he made his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut three years ago to pilot its No. 51 Dale Coyne Racing with RWR entry at all 2021 oval events on the schedule.
Fittipaldi will share driving duties of the team’s #51 full season entry with his former Haas F1, and now current Dale Coyne Racing with RWR teammate, Romain Grosjean who is taking part in all the road and street course races on the schedule.
“I’m very happy to be racing the ovals this season in the No. 51 car for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR,” said Fittipaldi. “I’m especially excited for the Indianapolis 500. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid to race in the Indy 500. All of Dale’s cars were competitive there last year and the last few years, and we’re looking to do the same this year.
“I’m also very happy to be sharing the car with Romain (Grosjean). He’s a good friend of mine. Over the years at Haas F1 we’ve become friends and it’s great to be teammates with him again,” continued the grandson of two-time Formula 1 Champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, Emerson Fittipaldi. “Coincidentally the No. 51 is the same number I used in my Formula 1 debut last year so it’s a nice coincidence to have. I’ve worked with some of the guys at Dale Coyne Racing in the past so I’m happy to be working with them once again. I’m sure we’ll able to do great things. I’m really looking forward to it!”
The 2017 World Series Formula V8 3.5 Champion first joined Dale Coyne Racing in 2018 for a partial season where he ended up taking part in six races. The American-born Brazilian driver made his debut at Phoenix Raceway where he qualified an impressive 10th in his Series debut.
The 24-year-old was initially scheduled to attempt to qualify for his first Indianapolis 500 but an accident during qualifying at a World Endurance Championship round overseas in early May 2018 sidelined him for a couple of months and ended his chance of turning his first laps at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that year.
Fittipaldi returned to the cockpit at the Mid-Ohio round later that season and picked up his best finish at the penultimate round of that season at Portland International Raceway with a ninth-place finish.
“We enjoyed working with Pietro in 2018, it’s unfortunate that his season was shorter than planned, so it’s great to be able to give him another chance to do some races in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and that he has another chance to participate in the Indy 500 and fulfill one of his childhood dreams. We look forward to seeing him share our #51 entry alongside his former Haas F1 teammate Romain Grosjean, it gives us a strong lineup for our full-time entry,” said Team Owner Dale Coyne.
Following his first stint with Dale Coyne Racing in 2018, Fittipaldi became the official test and reserve driver for Haas F1, competed in the DTM series and the F3 Asian Championship. More recently, he made his Formula 1 debut last December with the Haas F1 team as a replacement for current teammate Romain Grosjean, taking part in the two final rounds of the season.
In addition to his four races with Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, Fittipaldi will continue as the Haas F1 reserve driver for the 2021 season.
Fittipaldi’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will kick off at the Texas Motor Speedway doubleheader May 1 and 2, 2021 before heading to Indianapolis to turn his first official practice laps on the oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.