Fittipaldi replaces Mazepin for F1 test

Pietro Fittipaldi

Pietro Fittipaldi will step into the Haas Formula 1 car recently vacated by Nikita Mazepin at this week’s second pre-season test.

On Saturday, it was announced that Mazepin had departed Haas, which also cut ties with title sponsor Uralkali.

Though the team has yet to make an official statement on who will replace the Russian, owner Gene Haas has told Associated Press that his outfit will employ the services of reserve driver Fittipaldi at the Bahrain test.

“There was a lot of intense criticism about the Ukrainian invasion and it was just getting overwhelming. We can’t deal with all that, our other sponsors can’t deal with all that,” Haas said.

“We’re in the process of looking at several candidates, we’ll see who is available and what we have to deal with, but we’ll have somebody by Wednesday.

“Pietro will definitely be in it, that’s what he’s for, he’s the test driver.”

Speaking in Barcelona during the opening F1 pre-season test, team principal Guenther Steiner had suggested Fittipaldi was the logical successor given his role within the team.

However, there are no assurances that the American-Brazilian will remain in the car once the season-proper gets underway on March 20.

A number of drivers have been linked to the seat, including Oscar Piastri.

However, enquiries by Speedcafe.com to Piastri’s management were met with a short response confirming “Oscar won’t be at HAAS.”

Others linked to the seat include ex-Sauber driver Antonio Giovinazzi, who has a degree of backing behind him, and Red Bull youngster Jehan Daruvala.

Testing in Bahrain begins on Thursday and runs through to Saturday.

The opening race of the 2022 Formula 1 season is the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 18-20.

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