Charouz Racing System Team Principal Bob Vavrik has commended his driver Enzo Fittipaldi, highlighting the steps the Brazilian has made so far in the 2022 season after a fourth podium in his rookie campaign.
Fittipaldi completed a mature drive to P3 in the Formula 2 Sprint Race in Budapest to rebound from a Lap 1 error that cost him the lead of the race. Where plenty of others would have lost focus in the aftermath, Vavrik reflected on the Brazilian’s efforts and praised the maturity shown by his driver following the events of the opening lap.
“I remember speaking earlier in the season and said that we were doing step-by-step with Enzo. I have to say the team is happy with Enzo. He knows he did a mistake. Suddenly he found himself P1 and that's when you come under real pressure. He was in that situation after just two corners today. I don’t want to say that we expect this, but it's exactly what we’re looking for to be in these positions. The end result is points for the team, for him and it was another good step, another good lesson, so I think he knows what to do tomorrow.”
Fittipaldi seized the lead in the opening moments but a lock up under braking at Turn 2 handed the lead of the race back to pole sitter Jack Doohan. Despite the error, Fittipaldi reset and took a well-deserved podium finish, earning vital points in the Drivers’ Championship.
Vavrik was eager to point out that there was no hesitation from Fittipaldi in the immediate aftermath of losing the lead. Instead, he was immediately on the radio to apologise before setting his sights on Jüri Vips and retaking second position.
The Charouz boss also added that it is something that he has come to expect from Fittipaldi, as the 21-year-old has begun to display maturity beyond his years despite it being his rookie season in Formula 2.
“I need to say that he was really focused. He apologised for the mistake right away and then he continued the race. I have to say really really strong from him, no more major mistakes which was nice to watch.
“Now we are good together. He’s a very nice person and he’s doing everything we teach him. He’s grown up more. If there’s something not perfect, then we work on it together. He’s part of the team and it’s a real team effort.”
One factor that has been a significant catalyst in the Brazilian’s development as a driver relates back to his injury and time out of the car as a result of his 2021 Jeddah crash.
Fittipaldi missed the final round of the ’21 campaign and endured a slow start to this year while he continued to work back to full fitness and confidence in the car. After he felt comfortable and back to his best, the Charouz driver immediately made an impact, earning a maiden F2 podium in the Imola Sprint Race.
Vavrik noted that the attitude and dedication shown by Fittipaldi since returning from his Jeddah crash has not gone unnoticed, both on and off the track, adding that the results this season are down to the extensive work his driver has been putting in.
“He’s started to become more mature. That’s because he’s now getting the experience and learning how to work. It’s not just about the racing, it’s about the behind-the-scenes as well as behind the steering wheel. All of the presentations, debriefs, media stuff, he’s getting it pretty well I have to say.”