Pietro Fittipaldi is returning to the team with which he made his NTT IndyCar Series debut three years ago to drive the 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 No. 51 Honda 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, who continues in his role as reserve driver for Haas F1. “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. 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 world champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, Emerson Fittipaldi. “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!”
Fittipaldi, who won the World Series Formula V8 3.5 crown in 2017, first joined DCR in 2018 for a partial season where he ended up taking part in six races. The American-born Brazilian made his debut at Phoenix, 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 injuries sustained in an accident at a World Endurance Championship round 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 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,” said team owner Dale Coyne. “We look forward to seeing him share our No. 51 entry alongside his former Haas F1 teammate Romain Grosjean, it gives us a strong line-up for our full-time entry.”
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 Haas F1 as a replacement for Grosjean, taking part in the two final rounds of the season after the latter was injured.
Fittipaldi’s IndyCar season will kick off at the Texas Motor Speedway doubleheader May 1 and 2.