Haas has confirmed that Pietro Fittipaldi will replace Romain Grosjean at this weekend’s Formula 1 Sakhir Grand Prix.
Fittipaldi, 24, has acted as Haas’ reserve driver for the last couple of years and sampled its VF-18 and VF-19 during testing, including in Bahrain.
Fittipaldi, grandson of two-time World Champion Emerson, will be the first Brazilian to compete in Formula 1 since Felipe Massa’s retirement at the end of 2017.
Grosjean suffered burns in a violent accident at the Bahrain Grand Prix but is set to be released from hospital on Tuesday.
“After it was decided that the best thing for Romain was to skip at least one race, the choice to put Pietro in the car was pretty easy,” said team boss Guenther Steiner.
“Pietro will drive the VF-20 and he’s familiar with us having been around the team for the past two seasons as a test and reserve driver. It’s the right thing to do and it’s obviously a good opportunity for him.
“He’s been patient and was always prepared for this opportunity – and now it has come.
“That’s why we want him in the car and I’m sure he’ll do a good job. It’s very demanding being called in at the last minute, but as I said, I think it’s the right thing to do for Haas.
“Most importantly I’m happy Romain is safe and healthy,” commented Fittipaldi.
“We’re all very happy his injuries are relatively minor after such a huge incident. Obviously, it’s not an ideal set of circumstances to get my first opportunity to compete in Formula 1, but I’m extremely grateful to Gene Haas and Guenther for their faith in putting me behind the wheel this weekend.
“I’ve been with the team a lot this season, both trackside and working on simulator sessions, so I’m familiar with the team’s operating procedures on a grand prix weekend.
“It’s going to be exciting to make my first career start in Formula 1 – I’ll be giving it my all and I look forward to starting in free practice on Friday in Bahrain.”
A decision has yet to be taken on Haas’ line-up for the season-ending round in Abu Dhabi.