Haas trying to help Pietro Fittipaldi in Super Licence quest

Haas F1 test driver Pietro Fittipaldi

Haas says it is trying its best to secure a Super Licence for Pietro Fittipaldi, but cannot promise the youngster all its help due to its current Formula 1 predicament.

Fittipaldi has been linked with Haas since the end of 2018 and holds the role of its test and reserve driver, having sampled the VF-19 during pre- and in-season testing.

Fittipaldi currently has 36 of the 40 points needed for a full Formula 1 Super Licence, under the rules introduced for 2016, with the bulk of his points coming courtesy of his Formula V8 3.5 title success in 2017.

His 2018 campaign was interrupted by a double leg fracture while for 2019 he has only competed in DTM owing to Haas’ desire to have him focused on his reserve driver duties, and is a lowly 16th in the championship.

“He hasn’t got the Super Licence,” said Steiner of Fittipaldi.

“That’s one of the problems of the young drivers at the moment, there are not many around with a Super Licence and to get a Super Licence it’s pretty difficult.

“There is now a solution. It was defined that the team can get points for the Super Licence by putting a driver in for FP1. If he’s four points away we see what we can do."

Haas, though, is ninth in the Constructors' Championship, and is in the midst of trying to understand why its VF-19 is not replicating qualifying pace in race trim.

“For us it’s difficult at the moment," he said. "We would do it [practice sessions] for him so he’s got something moving forward but in the situation we are in at the moment, it’s up and down and we need both drivers to be testing the car as much as possible.

“Otherwise we are doing something that is not focusing on the right thing, because our focus is still not to be ninth in the championship and to get better.

“That is why I cannot promise something to Pietro.”

Formula 1 has not featured a Brazilian driver on the grid since Felipe Massa’s retirement at the end of 2017.

Next month's Italian Grand Prix marks a decade since a grand prix was won by a Brazilian driver, with Rubens Barrichello's Monza 2009 triumph proving to be his last in the sport.