G-Drive Racing operated by Algarve Pro Racing has announced that Pietro Fittipaldi will be unable to participate in the remaining five rounds of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) or the 89th 24 Hours of Le Mans (21-22 August) due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts.
Fittipaldi – the grandson of two-time Formula 1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi – originally joined the Algarve Pro Racing roster for the entirety of the 2021 ELMS and Le Mans.
However, dovetailing his role as official test and reserve driver at Haas F1 Team with IndyCar Series commitments and a frontrunning LMP2 campaign with Algarve Pro Racing has become unworkable since scheduling conflicts arose between IndyCar, the ELMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, John Falb and Rui Andrade will be joined in the #25 G-Drive Racing operated by Algarve Pro Racing Aurus 01 LMP2 by Spain’s Roberto Merhi for the remainder of the 2021 ELMS, starting with the forthcoming 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring (15-16 May).
“Unfortunately, I’m unable to continue racing with G-Drive Racing operated by Algarve Pro Racing because of conflicting dates,” said Fittipaldi. “The 24 Hours of Le Mans was moved to conflict with my IndyCar commitments, and the frequent date changes coupled with travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have made it difficult to continue with the ELMS and Le Mans.
“It’s disappointing and I wish I could carry on because we finished P2 in class in Barcelona, and I’m sure there’s more to come. It was great to work with John (Falb) and Rui (Andrade), but let’s see what happens in the future, because I’d love to have another opportunity to work with them and Algarve Pro Racing.”
Algarve Pro Racing Team Principal, Stewart Cox, said: “We’re naturally very disappointed to see Pietro (Fittipaldi) go because he’s been a pleasure to work with, he has already brought a lot to the team and I have no doubt he would have made a significant contribution to our overall 2021 European Le Mans season. We completely understand and respect the need to streamline his programme due to recent changes in the motorsport calendar. We’re currently living in very unusual, challenging times when you have to be adaptable and international travel is difficult, and there’s no workable solution in this instance. We wish Pietro all the best with his Haas F1 and IndyCar commitments and hope we have a chance to work with him again in the future.”