Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that current Haas F1 Team reserve and test driver, Pietro Fittipaldi, who is also a multiple open-wheel champion and race-winning world endurance championship driver, will drive the No. 30 entry for his first full season of NTT INDYCAR SERIES competition in 2024.
Fittipaldi, the Brazilian-American grandson of 1989 INDYCAR champion and two-time Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, returns to the series after having made nine starts in 2018 and 2021 for Dale Coyne Racing. Details on the sponsorship for the entry will be announced at a later date.
Fittipaldi, 27, made six starts in the INDYCAR SERIES in 2018 — three on oval tracks and three on road courses — with his best start being 10th in Phoenix and best finish of 9th coming at Portland. He had planned to compete in more races, but his program was curtailed midseason after breaking both legs in an accident in the World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in May of that year. In 2021, he split the season in the No. 51 Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware entry with Romain Grosjean, running three of the four oval races. His best qualifying effort came in his Indianapolis 500 debut of 13th place, which earned him the “Fastest Rookie Award” and his best finish was 15th in Race 2 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season opens Sunday, March 10 on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, for the 20th Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. North America’s premier open-wheel series will crisscross the United States, including a stop for the 108th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26, before culminating in Nashville for the championship finale Sunday, Sept. 15. All on-track action can be seen on NBC or NBC’s Peacock Premium streaming service or USA Network. For more information about the series or team, visit www.indycar.com and www.rahal.com.
PIETRO FITTIPALDI, Driver of the No. 30 Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I am extremely proud and honored to join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. With the experience I’ve gained over the last few years in F1 and other racing series, I am looking forward to the challenge of racing in INDYCAR, one of the most competitive and versatile racing series in the world. I want to thank Mr. Rahal, Mr. Lanigan, and Mr. Letterman for the opportunity and their trust and confidence in me. I can’t wait to get started.”
BOBBY RAHAL, Co-Owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: “I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to have Pietro join RLL as the driver of the No. 30 car. He has had previous experience in INDYCAR in doing partial seasons with Dale Coyne Racing and impressively qualifying 13th at Indianapolis in 2021. I got to meet him then and since that time he has worked hard to become the reserve driver for Haas F1’s team. And from our discussions, I have been impressed with the maturity and experience that he will now bring to our program. I look forward to seeing what he can do over a full season of INDYCAR competition in 2024.”
MIKE LANIGAN, Co-Owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: “We are proud and excited to welcome Pietro to our team. The Fittipaldi family name has always been associated with winning and competitiveness in our sport. The legacy lives on with Pietro and we welcome the challenges in keeping the tradition alive.”
About Pietro Fittipaldi
Pietro Fittipaldi, 27, is in his fifth consecutive season as an official test and reserve driver for Haas F1 Team. Fittipaldi was born in Miami, Florida and is a grandson of two-time FIA Formula 1 World Champion (1972, 1974) and double Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi (1989, 1993). He rose through America’s karting ranks from 2006-10 before making his debut in stock cars in 2011, where he was crowned champion and “Rookie of the Year” in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series for Limited Late Models. A move to the Late Models category in 2012 earned another “Rookie of the Year” title for the Brazilian, followed by victory in the Pepsi 200 Fall Brawl, the biggest Late Model race of the year. Switching to open-wheel racing for 2013, and relocating to Europe, Fittipaldi competed in the British-based BRDC Formula 4 Championship and the BARC Formula Renault Championship. A dominating 2014 season in the Protyre Formula Renault Championship delivered a title with 10 wins from 15 starts. Fittipaldi graduated to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in 2016, scoring three podiums, and raced in the MRF Challenge Formula 2000 Championship, winning the series title courtesy of four victories from nine podium finishes. Another open-wheel title followed when Fittipaldi won the Formula V8 3.5 Championship in 2017 with six wins, 10 podiums, and a series-record 10 pole positions (previous record held by Kevin Magnussen/Daniel Ricciardo). 2018 saw Fittipaldi return to the United States to compete in the INDYCAR SERIES with Dale Coyne Racing, his deal commencing with April’s event in Phoenix. His race program was curtailed however after breaking both legs in an accident in May’s World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps while planning to participate in the full season. Fittipaldi returned to his INDYCAR commitments at the end of July that season, making five more starts with a best finish of ninth place at the Grand Prix of Portland in September still racing with a fractured leg. In 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Fittipaldi was signed as Haas F1 Team’s official 2019 reserve and test driver. He capped his year with a Formula 1 debut steering the team’s VF-18 at the post-season Pirelli tire test. 2019 saw Fittipaldi combine a season competing for Audi Sport Team WRT and Team Rosberg in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), with testing and development duties behind the wheel of the Haas VF-19 – testing in Spain, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, as well as extensive simulator development throughout the season. Continuing in 2020 as reserve and test driver, Fittipaldi subsequently made his debut in F1 with two grand prix starts for the Haas F1 Team standing in for the injured Romain Grosjean at the Sakhir Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December. In 2021 and 2022, he continued as the Haas F1 Team reserve and test driver and took part in F1 free practice sessions as part of mandated “rookie” sessions and carried out pre and post-season test duties for the team. Also in 2021, he competed in the European Le Mans Series with Team InterEuropol, securing the team’s best finish in their history with second place at Spa-Francorchamps and their best qualifying position of third in Monza. While simultaneously continuing as Haas F1 Team’s reserve and test driver in 2023, he competed in the World Endurance Championship with Team JOTA. A season highlight was a victory in the Six Hours of Monza World Endurance Championship race in the LMP2 class.