Fittipaldi has said he is grateful to be making his F1 debut but, understandably, more grateful that Grosjean is well: “Most importantly I’m happy Romain (Grosjean) is safe and healthy. We’re all very happy his injuries are relatively minor after such a huge incident.
Obviously, it’s not an ideal set of circumstances to get my first opportunity to compete in Formula 1, but I’m extremely grateful to Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for their faith in putting me behind the wheel this weekend. I’ve been with the team a lot this season, both trackside and working on simulator sessions, so I’m familiar with the team’s operating procedures on a grand prix weekend. It’s going to be exciting to make my first career start in Formula 1 – I’ll be giving it my all and I look forward to starting in free practice on Friday in Bahrain.”
The Sakhir Grand Prix will be held at the Bahrain International Circuit, the same venue as the Bahrain GP but with a different track layout. Measuring 2.201 miles (3.543km), only longer than the Monaco GP circuit by the length of a football pitch, there will be 87 laps of the ‘Outer Track Layout’ on Sunday 6th December. The traditional track layout used this past weekend has featured on the F1 calendar every year since 2010, but the Outer layout has never been used before in F1.
Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.