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Grosjean OUT of Sakhir GP; Pietro Fittipaldi to replace injured Haas driver

Grosjean OUT of Sakhir GP; Pietro Fittipaldi to replace injured Haas driver

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Grosjean OUT of Sakhir GP; Pietro Fittipaldi to replace injured Haas driver

Grosjean OUT of Sakhir GP; Pietro Fittipaldi to replace injured Haas driver

Haas has confirmed Pietro Fittipaldi will replace injured Romain Grosjean for this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix.

Grosjean is expected to be discharged from hospital on Tuesday after being treated for burns to the backs of his hands following a horrific crash at the start of Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

On Sunday evening, team principal Guenther Steiner made clear there was a plan in place as to would replace the Frenchman should he be either physically or mentally incapable of racing, although he refused to divulge names.

Haas has now announced test and reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi, the grandson of two-time champion Emerson Fittipaldi, will make his Formula 1 debut.

Pietro has tested previously with Haas in 2018 and 2019, but has yet to drive this year's car.

“After it was decided that the best thing for Romain [Grosjean] was to skip at least one race, the choice to put Pietro (Fittipaldi) in the car was pretty easy,” said Steiner.

“Pietro will drive the VF-20 and he’s familiar with us having been around the team for the past two seasons as a test and reserve driver. It’s the right thing to do and it’s obviously a good opportunity for him. He’s been patient and was always prepared for this opportunity – and now it has come.

"That’s why we want him in the car and I’m sure he’ll do a good job. It’s very demanding being called in at the last minute, but as I said, I think it’s the right thing to do for Haas F1 Team.”

Adding his voice to those who have wished Grosjean a speedy recovery, 24-year-old Fittipaldi said: “Most importantly I’m happy Romain is safe and healthy.

“We’re all very happy his injuries are relatively minor after such a huge incident. Obviously, it’s not an ideal set of circumstances to get my first opportunity to compete in Formula 1, but I’m extremely grateful to Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for their faith in putting me behind the wheel this weekend.

"I’ve been with the team a lot this season, both trackside and working on simulator sessions, so I’m familiar with the team’s operating procedures on a grand prix weekend. It’s going to be exciting to make my first career start in Formula 1 – I’ll be giving it my all and I look forward to starting in free practice on Friday in Bahrain.”

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