Pietro Fittipaldi says it was “an honour” to bring his family name back into Formula 1 when he made his first appearance for Haas during post-season testing in Abu Dhabi.

The 22-year-old Brazilian, a grandson of two-time F1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, was recently named as Haas’ official test driver for 2019 and made his F1 bow on the opening day of the Pirelli tyre test at Yas Marina on Tuesday.

His test outing marked the first time the Fittipaldi name has appeared in F1 since the mid-1990s, when Christian Fittipaldi - the nephew of Emerson Fittipaldi - participated in 43 grands prix for Minardi and Footwork between 1992 and 1994.

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“For me it’s an honour to bring this name [back to F1], Fittipaldi said.

“Of course my grandfather has really good history in Formula 1 and IndyCar as well, to bring it back to Formula 1 it’s really an honour.

“A lot of people ask if it’s a pressure but like, I don’t feel like it’s a pressure, I feel like it’s a big privilege to have this whole family that supports me, gives me advice, knows so much about racing.

“There’s always going to be pressure but I’m here because I love racing, and I want to do well, I want to win races and I want to win championships.

“There’s no-one that can put more pressure than I put on myself, because I want to do well. That’s it, it’s a big privilege to be surrounded by great racers.”

Emerson Fittipaldi recorded 14 victories on his way to winning the 1972 and 1974 world championships with Lotus and McLaren respectively, while his brother, Wilson, set up and raced for their family-run team, which Emerson later joined.

Pietro is the highest-placed member of the Fittipaldi family on the single-seater ladder, having most notably won the 2017 Formula V8 3.5 series before moving into IndyCar. 

His younger brother, 17-year-old Enzo, is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy and clinched the Italian F4 Championship with Prema in 2018.

Fittipaldi finished the day eighth in the timesheets and said he was overwhelmed by his first experience of F1 machinery, which he labelled as the “best car” he has ever driven.

“It took me a run or so to get comfortable in the car, but the F1 car is amazing,” he explained.

“It’s obviously the best car I’ve driven! I think everything you want in a race car the Formula 1 has.

“It’s like a perfect racing car, so was amazing to have the opportunity to test today.

“The braking was unbelievable, the braking is very fast, I think here you reach a top speed of 320 and there’s some braking where you’re braking 90 metres before the corner.

“It’s really impressive, the braking, the acceleration, but also the cornering speed is impressive, the car has a lot of downforce.”