Fittipaldi's advice to his F1 grandson: pedal to the metal
By Alan Baldwin
(Reuters) - Brazilian Pietro Fittipaldi prepared for his Formula 1 debut on Friday with some advice from double world champion grandfather Emerson, who made his first Grand Prix appearance half a century ago.
"I had advice from him, from my entire family," said the 24-year-old from Miami, who is on the Haas team for the injured Romain Grosjean after the Frenchman's fiery fall.
"I have a family of racing drivers. My uncle Christian, I talked to him, I talked to my uncle Max Papis who also drove in F1 ... they said the main thing was to just go out and enjoy it and then pedal on the metal, 'just deliver. "
Emerson Fittipaldi, the first in a line of Brazilian champions, made his Grand Prix debut with Lotus at the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in July 1970 and won the championship in 1972 and 1974.
Pietro's great uncle Wilson also competed in Formula 1 in the 1970s. The first cousin to remove Christian ran for Minardi and Arrows in the 1990s.
The youngest member of the Fittipaldi family to reach the top and the first grandson of a champion said it was a great feeling to join them.
Friday's opening practice was the first time the reserve driver had been on the track since a test in late 2019 in a Formula 1 car, and he was 19th out of 20.
"I've dreamed of driving in Formula 1 since I started racing. I was four years old when I started karting. So it's surreal," he told reporters earlier.
"I'm not racing for the best team, but it's an amazing group of people for me," he said of the US team, who are ninth out of ten overall.
"Kevin (Magnussen), Romain, they've been very supportive and open to me because they know it's my first race. It's going to be difficult just with all the procedural things," he said.
Fittipaldi will be the first Brazilian in three years to drive in Formula 1 after former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa Williams left in 2017.
"It's great. A lot of support. Obviously, motorsport in Brazil is big and we have a lot of drivers, so I've had support from almost all Brazilian drivers ... it's good energy to get into your first race."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis)
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