Enzo Fittipaldi celebrated a wonderful comeback in Imola’s Feature Race, taking his maiden FIA Formula 2 podium less than five months after being hospitalised following a start line crash in Jeddah.
The Brazilian driver had a tricky Qualifying in challenging conditions on Friday, and lined up in P15 for the Feature Race, but managed to jump up the order with good race pace and the right strategy to stand on the second step of the podium by the end of the Race.
Speaking during the post-race press conference, Enzo reflected on the result, and his journey from hospital bed to podium:
“It means the world to me, coming back after the big crash in Jeddah. It was a lot of hard work in the winter to get back and ready for the first race weekend in Bahrain. I feel great physically, and mentally as strong as ever, so I’m really happy.
“Today, honestly I was not expecting this [result]. I started fifteenth and right from the start I felt like we had really strong pace and we were making a lot of overtakes. I’m extremely happy with this result.”
The Charouz driver shared the podium with Théo Pourchaire, who was involved in that same accident last December, and took the Feature Race win in Imola.
“It’s really nice to be sharing the podium with him. We didn’t really get to chat a lot after the accident last year… we were able to speak a little bit today.”
Race winner Pourchaire revealed how special it was to stand alongside Fittipaldi after their incident last year:
“I was thinking about that [crash], being together on the podium… it’s amazing. I didn’t know he was really P2, he started P15! It’s amazing to both be on the podium, I love motorsport for that.”
Enzo’s result had particular significance for his Charouz Racing team, who came into the weekend as the only team without any points on the board.
“It’s great to get the first points of the year. I saw my team mate David [Beckmann] also finished in eighth so that’s also good points. It’s a great race for Charouz, it gives us a big boost of confidence for the next races.”
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