For most individuals, an excellent trip is a heat vacation spot and presumably close to the ocean. For Pietro Fittiapldi, the perfect spot is the snug environment of his house in North Carolina. When you take a look at the schedule of MoneyGram Haas’ reserve driver, you’ll perceive why.
As this yr involves a detailed, Fittipaldi may have spent 36 weekends at a racetrack. Alongside along with his check and reserve function, the Brazilian-American can also be a full-time driver for the Jota crew within the World Endurance Champion LMP2 class. It was not too long ago introduced that Fittipaldi will be a part of IndyCar’s Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the 2024 season, the place he will probably be driving the No. 30 automobile.
Whereas the touring may be formidable to even fathom, for Fittipaldi, the extra races, the higher.
Motorsports is considerably of a birthright within the Fittipaldi family. Pietro is the grandson of two-time System 1 world champ Emerson Fittipaldi whereas his youthful brother, Enzo, presently is a junior driver for Purple Bull in System 2.
Proper now Pietro Fittipaldi is in his fifth season as Haas reserve and check driver. In 2020, he made his Grand Prix debut for the ultimate two rounds of the season instead of Romain Grosjean, who was injured in a horrible crash on the Bahrain Grand Prix. His duties lengthen far past being able to be on name, nonetheless. Forward of this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, he spoke with M&F on his relationship with Haas and the preparation behind approaching every race weekend as if he’ll compete. Fittipaldi additionally mentioned how he’s managed to curb jet lag and ruining his food regimen by at all times being on the go.
Consistency is Key For Pietro Fittiapldi
This season marked Fittipaldi’s fifth straight season with Haas. It’s the longest relationship he’s had with a crew and the bond goes deeper than crew and driver. Guenther Steiner has been the crew principal for Haas since 2014 and has developed a real relationship with Pietro Fittiapldi. The pair lives a brief distance from each other in North Carolina and Steiner’s daughter attends the identical highschool that Fittipaldi did.
For those who’re a Netflix Drive to Survive fan, you’re conversant in Steiner’s blunt nature. Fittipaldi says that’s a trait that makes his relationship along with his boss and the crew so particular.
“Gunther has been an incredible boss to work with,” Fittipaldi says. “He’s very direct, sincere, and easy. I believe that’s the perfect kind of individual to work with as a result of once you’re doing nice, he’s going to acknowledge that. Whenever you’re doing a poor job with one thing, he’s going to inform you as properly. He’s an important man and an important crew chief. I’ve discovered a lot with Haas.”
How Pietro Fittiapldi Fights Jet Lag
There’s nothing else Pietro Fittiapldi might envision himself doing outdoors of racing. He totally loves the game, the adrenaline rush, and the competitors. One factor he can do with out is the time-consuming side of the journey. Given the buildup of air miles and switching time zones on a constant foundation, the motive force has provide you with sure strategies to assist battle off the results of jet lag.
Within the days main as much as the journey, Fittipaldi will undergo his regular schedule. On the day of his flight, he internally tries to modify to the time zone he’s touring to. He makes use of the flight to find out whether or not he’s going to sleep or keep awake.
“The error folks make typically is that they arrive drained within the morning of wherever they’re,” Fittipaldi says. “They sleep till early afternoon and are unable to sleep at evening. It’s going to take one other two days to get used to the time distinction. Even when I’m extraordinarily drained, I’m going to remain awake, and I’m going to guarantee that after I fall asleep, I sleep on the proper time.”
Pack Your Food plan
In each F1 and the World Endurance Championship, the lighter you might be, the quicker you might be within the automobile. In F1, drivers should weigh a minimal of 80kg (176 lbs.) and that features their driver’s seat. Failure to satisfy the necessities can vary from fines to disqualifications from race outcomes. At 5’7” and 65 kg (143 lbs.), Fittipaldi doesn’t have to fret in regards to the necessities. Within the WEC, he additionally divulged that 10 much less kilos within the automobile can equal 0.3 in lap time, which is a whole lot of time for vehicles that may hit speeds of as much as 200 mph.
Fittipaldi isn’t too strict along with his consuming habits however does observe a low-carb food regimen all year long. It’s an answer he’s discovered to remain lean whereas additionally feeling match. It doesn’t matter what nation or continent he’s on, it’s a food regimen that travels properly.
“I eat my carbs within the morning earlier than I’m going practice,” he stated. “The remainder of the day, it’s all greens and protein. Clearly, the meals are totally different in every single place, however it’s fairly straightforward to have carbs within the morning and all my different meals are veggies and protein. It is likely to be various kinds of greens and protein however that’s the place I’m going to maintain constant wherever I’m.”
How Pietro Fittiapldi Prepares For Endurance Racing
With races that may final wherever between six to 24 hours, endurance racing is a check of each driver and car. There isn’t a quantity of coaching that may put together drivers of any stage for what they expertise within the automobile. Coronary heart charges can peak at 200 beats per minute for each F1 and endurance racers, which is analogous to the center fee of an Olympic sprinter. Relying on the circuit, drivers can expertise G-forces of as much as 6gs.
With switching time zones as typically as he does, one other space of consistency Fittipaldi focuses on preserving is his gymnasium routine. He wakes up early and spends an hour and a half on the gymnasium specializing in cardio or power coaching. Neck power in addition to decrease again, core, shoulders, arms, and wrists are excessive areas of focus for drivers with being locked right into a seated place for a protracted length.
Fittipaldi says he prepares himself by tailoring his exercises to be as snug as attainable with these bodily calls for.
“What I attempt to do in my exercises is do my power routine with the elevated coronary heart fee and the one method I can get to do this is by doing a whole lot of circuit stuff,” he stated. “That method, my physique will get extra used to having the ability to do heavier weight and heavier workouts even with the excessive coronary heart fee. That type of builds my power for that.”
Some of the tough features of being a reserve driver is mentally approaching every race weekend as if you’ll be racing, in accordance with Fittipaldi. You possibly can go a whole season with out even driving the automobile, however you will need to stay ready to race.
Fittipaldi arrives on the monitor on Thursday morning and goes by way of the motive force conferences with teammates Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg, the place the technique for the weekend is gone over. Fittipaldi helps with the motive force knowledge and onboard footage evaluation all through Friday’s follow classes and compares the information to different groups to see areas the place they’re dropping time. He then passes on that data to the engineers, who talk to the drivers all through the session.
This helps him keep engaged and likewise offers him crucial data if he does must step in for one in every of his teammates that weekend. “As a result of I’m at all times seeing what our weaknesses are from each race drivers — when somebody is quicker, why they’re quicker — that offers me a whole lot of data for after I do get the possibility to leap within the automobile,” Fittipaldi stated. “I can implement every part I’ve discovered.”
If he’s not wanted for qualifiers on Saturday, then his weekend is actually over as a reserve driver should take part within the qualifier to start out the race. If a driver who certified can’t race, the gird place stays empty.
Comply with Pietro Fittiapldi on Instagram @pifitti