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Fittipaldi must race through pain barrier in Bahrain - Steiner

Fittipaldi must race through pain barrier in Bahrain - Steiner

F1 News

Fittipaldi must race through pain barrier in Bahrain - Steiner

Fittipaldi must race through pain barrier in Bahrain - Steiner
Will Gray & Sam Hall

Haas stand-in Pietro Fittipaldi will have to race through the pain barrier on his Formula 1 debut in the Sakhir Grand Prix.

Fittipaldi, who has been drafted in to replace the injured Romain Grosjean, will start from the back of the grid and is lacking race fitness after being out of the car for more than a year.

The Brazilian now faces a punishing 87-lap workout around Bahrain's fast and short Outer Track.

Team principal Guenther Steiner said: “It will be tough for him because it is a lot of laps here, but I think he will do it. When you are in the race you just get over the pain.

“He will be sore on Monday and Tuesday, for sure he will be suffering then, but in the heat of it you normally do not feel it as much as afterwards so he will get through it for sure.

“He will be fatigued but he is young, he is strong, he trains all the time so he will get through it but for sure it will be a tough day. In my opinion, finishing the race is a success tomorrow.”

Fittipaldi has a lot to live up to as he is the third generation of his racing family to compete in F1, with his 73-year old grandfather in two-time champion Emerson looking on with pride.

The 24-year-old is conscious the under-performing Haas car will give him little ammunition to fight his way through the field, but he disagrees with Steiner’s expectations and wants do to more than just reach the finish.

Ready to attack from the start Fittipaldi said: “I think the first lap is going to be interesting. Going into my first race, every move I make it has to be decisive. Every time you are undecisive, that is when s**t happens.

“So, for my first race, when I make a move I have got to be decisive but also thinking that my main priority is I’ve got to finish the race because it's gathering information for the team.

“Obviously, it is my first race and it’s difficult to practice for race conditions, so I’m going to be learning a lot throughout the race tomorrow like racing in dirty air. It’s not just reaching the flag. I want to do my best.”

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