Rahal Letterman Lanigan has signed Haas Formula 1 reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi to take the third seat in its IndyCar line-up for 2024.
Fittipaldi, 27, made his IndyCar debut in 2018 but his campaign was halted after he broke his leg in a sportscar crash at Spa. He still returned to the Dale Coyne seat later in the year with some relatively impressive performances.
He returned to Coyne to drive the ovals in 2021 as Romain Grosjean started the year on the road and street courses, but Grosjean eventually took over for the last race of the year - leaving Fittipaldi with only three starts that year.
It became clear last week that Fittipaldi was a contender for the Rahal seat and had usurped ex-Formula 2 driver Juri Vips - who contested the last two races of the 2023 season with Rahal - as the team’s lead option.
“It’s an honour to join a team of the calibre of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” said Fittipaldi, who in addition to his Haas reserve role has contested two grands prix for the F1 team.
“With the experience I’ve gained over the last few years in F1 and other racing series, I am looking forward to the challenge of racing in IndyCar, one of the most competitive and versatile racing series in the world.”
Fittipaldi is a World Endurance Championship race winner in LMP2 this year, where he has spent most of his time since leaving Dale Coyne.
RLL has Christian Lundgaard, a race winner in his sophomore year in 2023, under contract for next season, while Graham Rahal is expected to return despite leaving contract negotiations until late in the year.
“I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to have Pietro join RLL as the driver of the #30 car,” said Bobby Rahal.
“He has had previous experience in IndyCar in doing partial seasons with Dale Coyne Racing and impressively qualifying 13th at Indianapolis in 2021.
“I got to meet him then and since that time he has worked hard to become the reserve driver for Haas F1’s team. And from our discussions, I have been impressed with the maturity and experience that he will now bring to our programme.
“I look forward to seeing what he can do over a full season of IndyCar competition in 2024.”
Lundgaard was the team's top performer in 2023 as he finished eighth in the standings, although the team’s poor oval form dragged him and his team-mates back.
Jack Harvey was in the car Vips took over, but was removed from the seat with three races remaining. He had struggled in his two years with the team and had a best finish of 13th in 2023.