Haas F1 team owner Gene Haas has confirmed that their test and reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi will replace Nikita Mazepin in the second pre-season test in Bahrain although they have not yet decided who will be his permanent replacement.
Mazepin was left without a driver’s seat after the team terminated the contract with main sponsor Uralkali, owned by Nikita’s father, although the FIA allowed Russian and Belarusian drivers to compete under the neutral flag.
Team boss Gunther Stenier had previously announced that Fittipaldi was the first choice if Mazepin could not drive, and today it was confirmed that the Brazilian will perform during the three-day test in Bahrain on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (March 10-12).
Fittipaldi replaced Grosjean after an accident at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix and was a teammate of Magunussen in Sakhir and Abu Dhabi, his last two Formula One races.
“We are currently in the process of considering several candidates, we will see who is available and what we have to deal with, but we will have someone by Wednesday,” Haas told the Associated Press.
“Pietro will definitely be on the test, that’s why he’s here, he’s a test driver.”
Allegedly, one of the leading candidates for second place is Antonio Giovinazzi, who lost his seat at Alfa Romeo, who opted for Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou, and who was set to drive in Formula E for Dragon Penske Autosport this season.