Pietro Fittipaldi joins Romain Grosjean on Dale Coyne IndyCar team

Brazilian Pietro Fittipaldi will return to IndyCar this season with Dale Coyne Racing where he will partner with former Haas Formula 1 teammate Romain Grosjean, the team said on Thursday.

Fittipaldi, grandson of two-time Formula 1 Champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, will only drive oval races for Dale Coyne with Grosjean taking over the seat for street and road courses.

“I’m very happy to be racing the ovals this season,” said Fittipaldi in a statement. “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.

“I’m also very happy to be sharing the car with Romain (Grosjean). He’s a good friend of mine.

“Over the years at Haas F1 we’ve become friends and it’s great to be team mates with him again.”

Grosjean announced a move from Formula 1 to IndyCar last month saying he would not race on the more dangerous ovals for the sake of his family.

Fittipaldi, reserve driver for Haas, made his Formula 1 debut for the team in December filling in for Grosjean, who missed the final two races after the Frenchman suffered burns to both hands in a fiery crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old Brazilian will continue in his role as the Haas F1 reserve driver for the 2021 season.

It will be the second stint with Dale Coyne Racing for Fittipaldi, who signed with the team in 2018 for one injury-interrupted season that saw him miss the 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,” said team owner Dale Coyne.

The IndyCar season opens up on April 18 at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. The first oval race is May 1 at Texas Motor Speedway.