A busy month of May for Brazilian driver Pietro Fittipaldi has been halted due to a major crash at Eau Rouge during qualifying for this weekend’s 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
The grandson to two-time Formula One World Champion and Indianapolis 500 victor Emerson Fittipaldi nosed DragonSpeed’s No. 10 BR Engineering BR1 into the tire barrier at full speed in the middle of the unique portion of the Belgian circuit.
— The Caution Clock ⚠️ (@CautionClock20) May 4, 2018
The reigning World Series Formula V8 3.5 champion was preparing to start the six-hour race at Spa alongside Henrik Hedman and Ben Hanley.
Fittipaldi was conscious throughout the incident and was taken by helicopter to the Centre Hospitalier de Citadelle de Liège with, per an official bulletin from the FIA, “suspected fractures to both legs.”
His left leg, which suffered a complex fracture, was successfully operated on. Fittipaldi was also conscious as he exited the operating suite and, at 10:30 a.m. local time, left intensive care. He remains under observation at the hospital.
While Fittipaldi’s injuries are not life threatening, the crash and injury will complicate at least the month of May for himself and Dale Coyne Racing. Fittipaldi made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in Coyne’s No. 19 Honda less than a month ago at ISM Raceway near Phoenix and was scheduled to run both the INDYCAR Grand Prix and Indy 500 in the car, along with four other races later in the season.
A history of last-minute driver confirmations and replacements for Coyne may continue as a result of Fittipaldi’s crash, despite the team entering the 2018 season with drivers assigned to both of its cars.
We're wishing for the best for @PiFitti. We'll keep everyone posted as we learn more. Everyone on the team is thinking of you Pietro.
— Dale Coyne Racing (@DaleCoyneRacing) May 4, 2018
Most recently, the team had to replace Sebastien Bourdais after the Frenchman smacked the wall during qualifying for last year’s 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500.
Fittipaldi is featured on the recently released entry list for this year’s “500,” but his debut in the famed race will not take place in 2018.