IndyCar: Fittipaldi name back in Indy 500 as Pietro lands oval deal

Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas, Formula 1 (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas, Formula 1 (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) /

The Fittipaldi name is set to return to the Indy 500, with Pietro landing an oval deal with Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing for the 2021 IndyCar season.

Haas Formula 1 test and reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi, who last competed in IndyCar in the 2018 season, is set to return to the series in 2021 with Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing behind the wheel of the #51 Honda for the four oval races on the 17-race schedule.

Romain Grosjean, who formerly compete for Haas in Formula 1, had already been confirmed as the driver of the #51 Honda for the 13 road and street course races on the schedule.

Fittipaldi’s schedule includes the two races at Texas Motor Speedway in early May, the 105th running of the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in late May and the race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in August.

The famous Fittipaldi name hasn’t competed in the Indy 500 since 1995 with Christian. Emerson won the race twice.

Here is what Pietro had to say about the opportunity to be back in IndyCar this season.

"“I’m very happy to be racing the ovals this season in the No. 51 car for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR. 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. The No. 51 is the same number I used in my Formula One 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!”"

Here is what team owner Dale Coyne had to add.

"“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. We look forward to seeing him share our No. 51 entry alongside his former Haas F1 teammate Romain Grosjean. It gives us a strong lineup for our full-time entry.”"

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Fittipaldi competed for Dale Coyne Racing in six races in the 2018 season, but his season was cut short as a result of injuries he suffered in a World Endurance Championship crash at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

He finished the season with an average finish of 17.17, including an average finish of 18.67 in his three oval starts. His top oval finish was his 11th place finish at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway and his top overall finish was his ninth place finish at Portland International Raceway.

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Fittipaldi is set to make his first start of the season on Saturday, May 1 at Texas Motor Speedway in the Genesys 300, which is set to be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.