Haas has named Pietro Fittipaldi and Louis Deletraz as its official test and reserve drivers, with Esports appearances already lined up.
Both drivers have previously had associations with Haas, with Fittipaldi taking on the role of official test driver in 2019. Deletraz made his debut in an F1 car with Haas last year and carried out simulator work alongside Fittipaldi, with team principal Guenther Steiner saying both have shown their value.
“Naturally, we had intended to make this announcement over the course of the Australian Grand Prix to start the season, but events both there and globally took priority with the on-going COVID-19 outbreak,” Steiner said. “Pietro (Fittipaldi) and Louis (Deletraz) have both proven themselves to us over the past 12 months and we’re delighted to confirm them both as official test and reserve drivers for Haas F1 Team.
“Their work in the simulator was undoubtedly of value as we faced our challenges last season and we’re excited to continue to present them with further opportunities to expand their relationship with the team in 2020 when we can return to work. I look forward to them adding significant input into our own race program supporting Romain (Grosjean) and Kevin (Magnussen) and the whole engineering team with the Haas VF-20.”
The increased role for Deletraz comes alongside a planned Formula 2 season for Charouz Racing System, and the Swiss driver believes that will help him show more of his potential.
“To be an official test and reserve driver in Formula 1 is another step along the way to reaching my ultimate goal of competing in Formula 1,” Deletraz said. “I made my debut in a Formula 1 car with Haas F1 Team and I’m naturally thrilled that we have developed that opportunity, as well as my simulator work last season, into an official role as a test and reserve driver.
“I would like to thank Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for adding me to the program in this capacity. The bonus for me is that with Formula 2 on the support bill at a variety of grand prix events, I know they will get to see me race and I can spend more time embedding myself with the team when the timetable allows.”
While there is no opportunity for track running for a number of months and with F1 teams entering into a period of mandatory shutdown, both drivers are currently scheduled to represent Haas in F1’s Esports Virtual Grand Prix series in the next round on April 5.