By: Spencer Neff
March 4, 2021
This morning, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR (Rick Ware Racing) announced Pietro Fittipaldi as the driver of the team’s No. 51 entry for the four oval races on the upcoming 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule.
After making his debut with DCR in 2018, Fittipaldi entered six races for the team. At his debut, he earned a best start of 10th (Phoenix) and earned his best finish of ninth at Portland later that season.
With Romain Grosjean contesting the road and street course portion of the schedule, Fittipaldi will also have the opportunity to compete in his first Indianapolis 500.
“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,” said Team Owner Dale Coyne.
“We look forward to seeing him share our #51 entry alongside his former Haas F1 teammate Romain Grosjean, it gives us a strong line up for our full-time entry.”
Less than three weeks before he was set to make his debut in 2018, the Miami-born Brazilian driver broke both of his legs in a practice crash at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium during a sports car race.
“I’m very happy to be racing the ovals this season in the No. 51 car for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR,” said Fittipaldi. “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.
Fortunately for the third-generation racer, he recovered and ran the remaining five events on the schedule that season.
Recently, Fittipaldi has been the reserve and test driver for Haas F1, making his debut following Grosjean’s violent crash in Bahrain, subbing for the final two races. Now, the two are teammates agin. Fittipaldi and Grosjean will be joined by Ed Jones, who will drive the No. 18 for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan on a full-time basis.
“I’m also very happy to be sharing the car with Romain (Grosjean),” Fittipaldi added.
“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. Coincidentally the No. 51 is the same number I used in my Formula 1 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!”
Fittipaldi will look to add to his family’s racing legacy, His grandfather is two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, while his uncle Max Papis and cousin Christian Fittipaldi have also won multiple races during their IndyCar careers.
Fittipaldi will make his 2021 debut at the Texas Motor Speedway doubleheader on May 1-2.
Header Image By Dana Garrett/INDYCAR