Brazilian Racing Drivers Are Missing from F-1 Races

Riders fail to score minimum required to race in category

São Paulo

Interlagos hosted on Sunday (17) the second consecutive GP Brazil without the presence of riders of the country on the grid, a reality that came true with the farewell of Felipe Massa in 2017. Before last year, the World Cup had only lacked Brazilians in 1969. 

The outlook for the 2020 season is not encouraging. Of the 20 seats in the ten teams of the F-1 World Championship, only three are not officially filled.

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton powers his car during the third free practice session at the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 16, 2019, on the eve of the Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix. (Photo by Nelson ALMEIDA / AFP) - AFP

Two of these positions are on the Red Bull and Toro Rosso teams. Consultant Helmut Marko, responsible for the company's pilot program, has already indicated that Frenchman Pierre Gasly, 23, and Thai Alexander Albon, 23, will be retained at Toro Rosso and Red Bull, respectively.

That left a single vacancy at Willians. According to the English press, the team is expected to confirm Canadian debut Nicholas Lafiti, 24.

Two Brazilians are F-1 test drivers: Pietro Fittipaldi, 23, from Haas, and Sérgio Sette Câmara, 21, at McLaren. None today would score to obtain the motor racing super license required in the F-1.

Each competition organized by the International Automobile Federation guarantees a certain score according to the driver's performance. To get to F-1, you need to be 40.

Fittipaldi has 36. For Haas, he hopes to accumulate points in 2020 in free practice sessions. Sette House has 10.

The required score is not the only obstacle for those who dream of reaching the motorsport elite.

"The financial part is very important in F-1. I have had my sponsors for a long time, but we still need other young drivers to be able to climb into the sponsored categories to push them," said Pietro Fittipaldi, 23, grandson of two-time world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, winner of the 1972 championships and 1974.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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