Haas test driver Pietro Fittipaldi says he initially thought his early test call-up on Tuesday afternoon was a joke until one of the race engineers explained to him that he was needed in the car due to Kevin Magnussen's seat fitting issue.
Fittipaldi was scheduled to drive on Wednesday and Thursday of this week but the Brazilian said getting the chance to run on earlier was "probably the best surprise I've had".
"I was really surprised. At four o'clock, I was going to go watch at turn one and the sun was directly in my eyes so I thought I'd stop by the engineers' room to get my sunglasses," Fittipaldi explained.
"One of the engineers said to me 'so are you ready to get into the car' and I was like 'yeah, I'm ready to get in tomorrow', but he said 'no, you need to get in now!'
"Initially, I honestly thought it was a joke, but he had to say to me 'no seriously, you're getting in the car now'. I got dressed as quickly as I could, the team did a great job to change my seat quickly and make sure I was as comfortable in the car as possible.
"It was really great, probably the best surprise I've had."
Speaking after his scheduled run on Wednesday morning, Fittipaldi said getting an unexpected early drive helped him hit the ground running from lap one the next morning.
"For sure it helped, manly with the seat position and pedals. When you make a seat and pedals it's 100 per cent, you can start pushing and nothing really changes, but you never know," said Fittipaldi.
"Sometimes you have to make an adjustment and we had to make one yesterday so it was good to get that run to make sure today we started the morning pushing..
"A Formula 1 car is always a fantastic car to drive, and the car feels really good. I'm really happy, but I'm obviously still gaining experience in a Formula 1 car, gaining more miles, but the car felt really good so I was happy with that. We went through the run plan we wanted to, so I was really happy with the morning."
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