Pietro Fittipaldi will join Lotus for the 2017 Formula V8 3.5 Championship alongside the re-signed Rene Binder, it has been revealed.
Fittipaldi – grandson of two-time F1 world champion Emerson – made his FV8 debut in 2016 with Fortec Motorsport, notching up his maiden podium finish in the final round of the season in Barcelona.
For 2017, the Brazilian joins Lotus where he will be paired with Binder, the Austrian having re-signed with the Czech-based Charouz Racing-run team.
“I really enjoyed working with the team when we met last year for winter testing. It's an extremely professional team, we did two test days and we topped morning and afternoon sessions. I felt really comfortable and I'm very happy to drive with them for 2017.
“Forty-five years ago my grandfather won the Formula 1 World Championship with Lotus and this is a great coincidence. I'm not competing for the Formula 1 title at the moment, but we'll give all our effort to win the World Series.”
Binder secured five podiums with Lotus in 2016 en route to seventh in the overall standings but now has his sights set firmly on the Formula V8 3.5 title.
“It feels great to renew my contract with Lotus 3.5 Team and for the first time in my single-seater career I will continue with the same team, which in my opinion might be even a little advantage.
The 2016 season was a very important year for me so we just need to stay focus and build on the five podiums that we achieved in Aragon, Paul Ricard, Silverstone and Monza. Lotus has definitely made me a better driver and I want to thank Bob Vavrik and Tony Charouz for their confidence.”