It has been two years since the incident that left Fittipaldi with a fractured heel, facial injuries, and bruising, which forced him to go through a long recovery and subsequent rehabilitation that put his racing career on pause.
After he secured his fourth Formula 3 podium in Hungary, Fittipaldi got promoted to Formula 2 mid-season to step up for Charouz’s David Beckmann. Unfortunately, after giving out his best race result in an eight-place finish at the beginning of the weekend in Jeddah, he got involved in a crash with a 72 G impact as Theo Pourchaire stalled his car near the front grid.
It took four intense months before the Brazilian declared fit to return to the grid in 2022. Though it seemed like a distant goal to have a winning target, after not scoring any points in the first four rounds of the season, he scored his maiden podium in Imola and notched up five podiums across the season to bag 126 points as the top rookie.
Now in his second campaign in the series, Fittipaldi has experienced the good and the bad sides of the 6.175 km long circuit as he awaits the challenge this weekend.
“Jeddah is a really fast street circuit, I really enjoy street circuits, so I am very much looking forward to the race weekend.” He stated,
“Qualifying in Jeddah is one of the highlights, it’s so fast. On a Qualifying lap, you are touching the walls, on the limit. It is just an amazing feeling.”
However, the 21-year-old isn’t expecting an easy time around one of the toughest tracks on the calendar, though he has always gained at least five positions in the past years. He asserted: “The most critical section of the track, in my opinion, is the last sector.
“I think that there it is important, especially in the race, if you want to make some overtakes, there are the big DRS zones. So that is where you can make the moves on track, in the last sector.”
Previously in Bahrain, Fittipaldi didn’t get the result he wanted in practice as he brought the first red flag to the session when his Carlin had to pull off at Turn 1. Later that day, he had to settle in 13th as Qualifying didn’t go on his way.
The new Red Bull Junior recruit eventually maximized the opportunities in both races to finish in the top 10, which became his early target this weekend. He continued, “In Bahrain, I didn’t complete Free session practice because we had some technical issues.
“So that’s our first goal this week, to make it through Free Practice, getting the run plan complete and as much data as possible. To be as ready as we can for Qualifying, and as well as making a step forward in Qualifying, that is another goal of ours.”
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