Bouncing back following an injury can feel like an enormous and insurmountable mountain to climb for any driver, but Enzo Fittipaldi has shown himself to have the drive and ability to do so in style. After being involved in a start line accident during the Jeddah Feature Race last year, it’s understandable that it would take the Brazilian driver time to find his feet and feel completely confident behind the wheel.

Yet in his first full Formula 2 season, Fittipaldi has gone from strength to strength to solidify his place as one of the unexpected stars of the 2022 campaign. His impressive progress up the order hasn’t gone unnoticed nor unrewarded as he’s in a prime position to hunt down a top three spot in the Drivers’ Championship.

As the field begins their preparations for the triple-header in less than a week’s time, we explore his overall performance and Fittipaldi gives his thoughts on how he’s grown across the first 10 rounds and his evolution from mid-pack fighter to frontrunner.


Recording five podiums so far in this campaign, Fittipaldi has shown that a less than ideal start to the season doesn’t have to hold a driver back from flying high. 12 points-scoring finishes have netted him an impressive 100 points and see him sit fourth in the standings presently.

He’s well on his way to becoming Charouz Racing System’s highest-placed driver in Formula 2 since they joined the Championship in 2018 and has provided a much-needed boost of confidence to the Czech team, who’s previous best finish came courtesy of Antonio Fuoco, who finished seventh in their debut season. Should his consistent performances continue, he could have the chance to overhaul Logan Sargeant’s 19-point advantage to leapfrog the Carlin driver for third.

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“I would rate my season so far an eight and a half out of 10. I have five podiums up until now and I think the most important thing is that every race weekend I’m learning something new, and I continue improving.

“I think it’s been a really good season so far; we’ve been consistent and strong throughout the last eight rounds – we've always been in the top 10. We’ve got five podiums this season already, so it’s been amazing and we’re in the fight for the top three now in the Championship. We just have to continue working hard and continue with the good consistency and strong pace we’ve had.”

It’s no secret that the start of his maiden full-season campaign didn’t quite get off in the way in which Fittipaldi would have wished. Failing to break into the top 10 in Qualifying in Sakhir and Jeddah left him facing an inevitable fightback up the order. Despite his best efforts to finish P13 and P11 in the Feature Races, this left him heading into the third round without a point to his name.

While his one-lap pace in the wet conditions at Imola saw him lining up P15 on the grid, hope was not all lost. Eager to turn his weekend around, Fittipaldi didn’t let the opportunity to capitalise on the frenzied action pass him by in the Feature Race. Steadily climbing up the order, his Charouz team took advantage of the Safety Car’s second appearance to make an early swap on to the medium compounds and vault him ahead of much of the midfield and the 21-year-old crept his way up to snatch a remarkable maiden podium in second.

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With the knowledge and confidence in his performance, he then set about building up his points tally with a consistent run of results in Barcelona. Ambitious moves in the Sprint and Feature Races were rewarded with eighth and sixth, as his gamble on the alternative strategy paid off thanks to a late mandatory pit stop.

However, it was his first outing around the streets of Monte Carlo where Fittipaldi really flourished. Qualifying sixth on his debut in the Principality was the backbone of another double points finish, getting his elbows out to put up a staunch defence of fourth for much of the 30-lap Sprint Race and keeping himself out of the barriers and well out of the way of trouble for secure fifth in the Feature.

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Once again showing that even when he was down, he was not out, Fittipaldi put together another heroic fight up the order – this time around the tight and twisty Baku city walls. Whilst an incident with Jüri Vips brought an early end to his running on Saturday, Sunday’s race was a masterclass in making moves, gaining 10 places to bring home points in sixth.

Fittipaldi’s ever-growing confidence and understanding of his car really began to manifest itself during the early July double-header. Returning to the top 10 in Qualifying at Silverstone was another golden opportunity when wet conditions played havoc in the Sprint Race. Whilst the spray and tyre degradation on the blue-walled Pirellis saw several drivers struggle, Fittipaldi held firm fighting off Théo Pourchaire to make a return to the podium in third – much to the delight of his team.

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Managing his tyres proved to be one of Fittipaldi’s biggest assets in Austria, as he secured another back-to-back points finish. Eighth in the Spielberg Sprint Race was followed by fourth in Feature Race, half a second off third at the chequered flag, as his tyre strategy proved to be the right one. Most importantly, however, was that the Charouz driver kept his red, white and blue car firmly within the lines and when track limits penalties were awarded to those ahead, he was promoted to the second step of the rostrum.

The ninth round in Le Castellet was one of his most difficult weekends to date. An issue in Qualifying saw him miss out on participating in the second half of the session and as a result, he slotted into 14th on the grid. Stalling on the Sprint Race formation lap proved to be the least of his problems, after contact between himself and Roberto Merhi left him facing an unwelcoming early end to his race. Sunday’s running finished on a more positive note for the Brazilian, after an issue for Trident’s Richard Verschoor on the final lap promoted him into the final points-paying position.

Keen to turn his luck back around, Fittipaldi arrived at the Hungaroring with a fighting spirit. Qualifying in ninth put him on the reverse grid front row for the Budapest Sprint Race and while his early lead didn’t translate into his first victory in the second tier, it did see him bring home another podium in third. Going one better in the Feature Race, he used soft tyres extra grip early on to risk a shot on the overcut – a move that worked out perfectly and in spite of a last lap scare, he made a triumphant return to the podium and moved up to fourth in the standings.

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“I think the strongest aspect so far year for me definitely has been the race craft. I think in the races we’re really able to turn things around and go from either 15th or 16th to finishing on the podium and always come out with a good result. For sure, our race pace has been really good, Qualifying pace has been very strong as well.

“Our weaker aspect of the season so far for sure was our Qualifying pace at the beginning of the season, but finally we’ve got that sorted already for the past couple of rounds, so I’m not that worried about it anymore. Also, in the first two race weekends I missed a lot of points there because I just wasn’t physically 100% yet after my accident from last year. I was still in the end of my recovery phase, but I was still not 100%.

“This season I have learned a lot. It’s my first full season in Formula 2 so I’m still learning a lot every race weekend. It’s been an amazing learning curve, you learn so much about the tyre management, how to maximise your Qualifying lap and get everything out of the Pirelli tyres because it’s a very complicated tyre to understand. Also, something I’ve learnt in F2 is to always look ahead because no matter where you’re starting from in the Feature Race, you can always turn things around and come out on top.”

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Fittipaldi has made consistency and resilience the hallmarks of his campaign, and he has developed into both a mature and well-rounded performer – an impressive feat given that his road to recovery hadn’t quite ended by the time the lights went out in Sakhir. His staggering rise up the order has understandably impressed many, including his Team Principal Bob Vavrik and his step-by-step approach has enabled him to remain unflustered, even when events haven’t gone according to plan.

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Naturally, there are some areas that he’ll be looking to improve as the season draws ever closer to its conclusion. Firstly, whilst his one-lap pace has shown much improvement over the campaign so far, he is still yet to qualify inside the top five and as a result, he’s relied on Sprint Race reverse grids or Feature Race fightbacks to snatch those big points hauls. More regular appearances at the top end of the timing sheets on Friday should provide him with a solid foundation to excel in both races.

Secondly, mistakes are an evitable part of a driver’s journey, but looking to eliminate them at the most crucial times will be of high importance for Fittipaldi. His chance at a maiden victory in the Budapest Sprint Race looked to be on the cards after he seized the lead into the first corner. However, a lock-up under braking at Turn 2 forced him to surrender the lead and eventually the win to Jack Doohan. Holding his hands up to his mistake, his ability to reset and refocus on getting the best out of the situation is a worthy attribute in a frontrunner, but he’ll be looking to avoid any more costly mistakes going forward.

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“My expectation for the final rounds is to continue doing a good job in Qualifying, always being in the top 10, top eight and scoring good points both in the Sprint Race and Feature Race, fighting for podiums and wins. I think that’s my expectation just to continue improving and learning as much as possible every time I jump in the car.”

Somewhat of an underdog at the start of the season, Fittipaldi has well and truly crafted his place amongst the brightest stars of the year. The familiarity of the upcoming circuits in Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, where he made his F2 debut last year, will give him added reference points which combined with his rate of growth in the Championship should make him a formidable contender. If he can keep his consistency going throughout the whole weekend, he could prove himself to be a thorn in the title contenders’ sides and don’t count him out to make an appearance on the top step of the podium before the year is out.

Chasing The Dream Season 4 is out now! Watch Episode 1 over on F1TV and Youtube.