Find­ing the stars of to­mor­row, to­day

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

Born in Mi­ami, Florida, 18-year-old Brazil­ian Pi­etro Fit­ti­paldi won the 2014 Protyre For­mula Re­nault Cham­pi­onship.

Who is he?

The grand­son of dou­ble world cham­pion Emer­son Fit­ti­paldi, Pi­etro started his ca­reer in the lower lev­els of NASCAR stock-car rac­ing in Amer­ica, be­fore mak­ing a suc­cess­ful switch to sin­gle-seater rac­ing in Bri­tain.

What’s he been do­ing re­cently?

The Brazil­ian be­gan his jour­ney to­wards F1 in an un­likely place: the his­toric 0.363-mile Hick­ory Mo­tor Speed­way oval, deep in ru­ral North Carolina. Con­test­ing the NASCAR Whe­len All-Amer­i­can Se­ries Limited Late Model di­vi­sion, he won the cir­cuit’s track cham­pi­onship in 2011. But in­stead of mov­ing up in stock-car rac­ing, Fit­ti­paldi switched to the Bri­tish sin­gle-seater lad­der his grand­fa­ther once suc­cess­fully scaled, with a twin at­tack on the Protyre For­mula Re­nault and BRDC F4 cham­pi­onships.

How good is he?

Now that he’s set­tled into sin­gle-seaters, the signs are that he has the tal­ent to match the pub­lic­ity his fa­mous sur­name will gen­er­ate. In 2014, Fit­ti­paldi fo­cused his ef­forts on Protyre For­mula Re­nault, eas­ily tak­ing the ti­tle with ten wins from 15 races. He also gained ex­pe­ri­ence with se­lected out­ings in Euro­pean For­mula Re­nault.

Will we see him in F1?

Fit­ti­paldi tested For­mula 3 and Re­nault 3.5 ma­chines to­wards the end of last year, and he is primed to climb the ranks over the com­ing sea­sons. And if his ca­reer fal­ters then fret not – there’s another Fit­ti­paldi on the way: Pi­etro’s younger brother Enzo, 12, is cur­rently rac­ing karts and Leg­ends cars in the USA.

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