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Enzo Fittipaldi completes maiden IndyCar test at Sebring with brother

Formula 2 racer Enzo Fittipaldi enjoyed his maiden IndyCar test for Dale Coyne Racing at Sebring, joining brother Pietro as he familiarised himself with his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team.

Pietro Fittipaldi, Enzo Fittipaldi

Pietro Fittipaldi, Enzo Fittipaldi

Pietro Fittipaldi

The Brazilian grandsons of two-time Formula champion, double Indy 500 winner and 1989 IndyCar champion Emerson Fittipaldi shared the track for the very first time on the 1.7-mile short course at Sebring International Raceway on Wednesday.

Enzo, 22, teamed up with DCR as Pietro, 27, had his first outing in an IndyCar since the 2021 Indianapolis 500 after signing a deal with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing last month.

Enzo Fittipaldi currently sits seventh in the standings with one round to go of his second full season in F2, having broken his duck at Spa. 

Speaking to Autosport, he said he had "got up to speed very quickly" in the test using up five sets of tyres and completing "many long runs".

"I can say it was a success and I had a really good time," the Red Bull junior said. "The speed was there right away. So yeah, I was very happy about that."

One of the more unique differences Enzo found was how the IndyCar's Firestone tyres behaved compared to the Pirellis on his F2 challenger.

"The way you build the tyre energy, the warmup procedures are completely different," Enzo said.

"With IndyCar, it's just flat-out right out of the box really. No rules whatsoever.

Pietro Fittipaldi, Enzo Fittipaldi

Photo by: Pietro Fittipaldi

Pietro Fittipaldi, Enzo Fittipaldi

"In Formula 2, you can easily damage a tyre as soon as you over slip. You have to be super delicate in the warm-up and basically only warm up the tyres with the brakes in Formula 2.

"In IndyCar, it's the opposite. I mean, you do everything in IndyCar that you're not supposed to do in Formula 2 in terms of a tyre procedure and everything."

While Enzo felt the power was "quite similar" to the long-serving F2 car that will be replaced by a new machine for 2024, he reported that "the style is very different".

"Within the car you can slide a lot and extract the lap time, really extract it out of the tyres, even though sliding around looks like a very messy lap, but still, it's good," he said.

"In F2, you can't really slide too much. As soon as you slide with the rears, it's not great. So yeah, very different approach, very different styles.”

Considering all of Pietro’s nine starts in North America’s premier open-wheel championship to this point happened for Dale Coyne, Enzo shared how the team owner compared the two.

“He said I'm a bit more aggressive and wilder compared to my brother,” revealed the 2018 Italian F4 champion. “My brother's a bit smoother; those were Dale's words.”

Enzo Fittipaldi, Rodin Carlin

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Enzo Fittipaldi, Rodin Carlin

The pair had enjoyed sharing the track and at one point after lunch found themselves on track trading identical quick laps.

“It was very, very competitive,” Enzo said. “We were super close. We're very competitive with each other.”

Although it was pure coincidence the test delivered a rare opportunity for the brothers, it is something that will be forever treasured.

“There was no other team there, it was just me and my brother,” Enzo said. “It's going to be a day I'm going to remember for the rest of my life.”

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