Emerson Fittipaldi

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Emerson Fittipaldi
Emerson Fittipaldi.jpg
Born (1946-12-12) 12 December 1946 (age 67)
São Paulo, Brazil
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Brazil Brazilian
Active years 19701980
Teams Lotus, McLaren, Fittipaldi Automotive
Races 149 (144 starts)
Championships 2 (1972, 1974)
Wins 14
Podiums 35
Career points 281
Pole positions 6
Fastest laps 6
First race 1970 British Grand Prix
First win 1970 United States Grand Prix
Last win 1975 British Grand Prix
Last race 1980 United States Grand Prix

Emerson Fittipaldi (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈɛmeɾson fitʃiˈpawdʒi]; born December 12, 1946) is a Brazilian former automobile racing driver who won both the Formula One World Championship and the Indianapolis 500 twice each and the CART championship once.

Early and personal life[edit]

Emerson Fittipaldi was born in São Paulo, Brazil. He is the youngest son of prominent Brazilian motorsports journalist and radio commentator Wilson Fittipaldi Sr and his wife Józefa "Juzy" Wojciechowska, an immigrant from Saint Petersburg, Russia and of Polish and Russian descent. His grandfather Ivan Wojciechowski was an officer in the tsarist army.[1][2] He was named after American author and philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Both his parents had raced production cars shortly after the Second World War and Wilson Sr was also responsible for the first Mil Milhas race in 1956, in São Paulo, having been inspired by the 1949 Italian Mille Miglia. Emerson became a motorsports enthusiast at an early age.

Emerson Fittipaldi is the younger brother of former Formula One driver and team owner Wilson Fittipaldi. He is the uncle of TUDOR United Sports Car Championship driver Christian Fittipaldi. He was married to Maria Helena from 1970 to 1982. They had three children together, Juliana, Jayson and Tatiana. He was married again, to Teresa, in the mid-1980s. They have one daughter, Joana, and a son, Luca. He has another son, Emerson, born in 2007, and daughter Vittoria, born early 2012, with economist Rossana Fanucchi, whom he married after a partnership of eleven years early December 2012 in São Paulo.[3]

In his youth in Brazil, Emerson was known as 'Rato' - mouse, which contrasts with 'Tigrão' - big tiger - for his brother. By the end of his career he was most commonly known as 'Emmo' in the United States and the UK. In September 1997, Fittipaldi, while recovering from injuries in a crash at Michigan International Speedway a year earlier, was flying his private plane across his orange tree farm in São Paulo, Brazil. The plane lost power and plunged 300 feet (91 m) to the ground. He suffered serious back injuries. He recovered, and became a born again Christian.

He was a friend of Beatles guitarist George Harrison and was with him shortly before Harrison died in November 2001.[4]

Career history[edit]

Emerson in the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School F3 Lotus 59 in the 1969 F3 Guards Trophy at Brands Hatch

When aged 14, Fittipaldi was racing motorcycles, and when aged 16, hydrofoils. While racing one day, his brother Wilson took off at 70 mph (110 km/h) and landed upside down. Afterwards, they both decided that although he had survived, they would no longer race hydrofoils and moved onto racing karts.[5]

The pair moved to racing Formula Vees, and built up a company with their parents. In his second season in single-seaters, Fittipaldi won the Brazilian Formula Vee title at 21 years old. He left for Europe in 1969, with the ambition to convince team owners of his talent in three months. After some podiums and his first victories in Formula Ford, Fittipaldi was first trained and then subsequently engaged by the Jim Russell Driving School Formula Three team. He won nine F3 races on the Jim Russell Lotus 59 in the MCD Lombard Championship to become the 1969 champion.

Formula Two[edit]

For 1970, Fittipaldi moved up to F2 by joining the Lotus semi-works Team Bardahl campaigning Lotus 59B. With six finishes in the points and four on the podium, he ended the 8 race season in the 3rd place behind Clay Regazzoni and Derek Bell. While this result was very impressive for the newcomer to the series, the spotlight of the year was drawn on Fittipaldi because of his activities in Formula One instead.

Formula One[edit]

Fittipaldi driving the Lotus 72 at the Nürburgring in 1971.

Based on the success of Cosworth DFV and Lotus 49/49B in 1968, Team Lotus was enjoying the reputation as one of the top F1 teams with the inflow of sponsorship money, and Colin Chapman used the 3rd seat on the team for championship races as the testing ground for younger drivers. This was in contrast to the team's tradition to use non-championship F1 events for the purpose.

The third seat was given to Alex Soler-Roig in the early 1970, and then to Fittipaldi starting with the British GP in July, with Jochen Rindt and John Miles as the regular seat holders. Fittipaldi scored a fourth place as the No.3 driver at the next German GP where the No.1 Jochen Rindt won, and the No.2 John Miles retired.

Team Lotus plans for the season drastically changed when Jochen Rindt was killed at Monza in September and became the only driver to win the championship posthumously. John Miles also left the team, and Fittipaldi was promoted to be the Lotus No.1 driver on his fifth F1 race at the United States GP with Reine Wisell and Pete Lovely as the teammates. Fittipaldi proved up to the task and won this first post-Rindt race for Lotus.

In his first full year as Lotus' lead driver in 1971, Fittipaldi finished sixth in the drivers' championship as the team further developed the previous season's Lotus 72. Armed with what was arguably the greatest Formula one design of all time, the Lotus 72D, Fittipaldi proved dominant in 1972 as he won five of 11 races and easily won the F1 Drivers' Championship from Jackie Stewart by 16 points. At 25 he was then the youngest champion in F1 history. It appeared he might do it again in 1973. But after three wins from four attempts with the 72D, he began to struggle in the new 72E that was unveiled mid-year. It resulted in the reverse of the previous year, Stewart beating Fittipaldi for the Drivers Championship by 16 points; though the combination of the 72D and E's points earnings were enough to gain Team Lotus the 1973 F1 Manufacturers Championship.

Fittipaldi in the McLaren M23 in the 1974 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch.
Fittipaldi driving for his brother's eponymous team at the 1976 Brazilian Grand Prix at his home circuit, Interlagos.

Fittipaldi left Lotus to sign with the promising McLaren team. Driving the highly efficient McLaren M23, he had three victories in 1974, reached the podium four other times, and beat out Clay Regazzoni in a close battle for his second championship. The following season, he notched two more victories and four other podiums, but was second to a dominant Niki Lauda. However, at the height of his F1 success, Fittipaldi shocked everyone by leaving McLaren to race for older brother Wilson Fittipaldi's Copersucar-sponsored Fittipaldi Automotive team.

It was hardly a world-class organization and the double champion regularly struggled, failing to qualify in three races in his time there. Despite this, he remained with the team for five seasons but only managed a best finish of second. Emerson Fittipaldi decided to retire from racing at the end of 1980. He has since said that his last two years in Formula One were very unhappy: "I was too involved in the problems of trying to make the team work, and I neglected my marriage and my personal life",[6] although at the time he cited the deaths of many of his colleagues as his reason.[7] He was only 33, but had been racing in Formula One for a decade. He had failed to finish seven of the last ten races that year and had several times been outpaced by his Finnish teammate Keke Rosberg (a future champion himself). He moved into the management of the team[8] alongside his brother. The team struggled on for another two years with minimal sponsorship, going into receivership at the end of 1982.

CART[edit]

After leaving F1 in 1980, Fittipaldi took time out from major racing for four years, returning in 1984 in CART. The 38-year old spent his first season acclimatising to IndyCars, driving for two teams before joining Patrick Racing as an injury replacement. He stayed five years with the team, recording six victories and solid finishes in the overall standings. In 1989 he had five wins and finished in the top five in every race he completed, giving him a CART championship. Among his wins was a dominant performance in the 1989 Indianapolis 500 where he led 158 of 200 laps and won by two laps, but only after a dramatic duel with Al Unser, Jr. in the closing laps of the race. With both drivers a commanding six laps ahead of third place Raul Boesel, Unser ran down Fittipaldi after a late-race restart and passed him for the lead on lap 196. Three laps later, Fittipaldi used lapped traffic to his advantage to pull alongside Unser on the backstretch. Neither driver would give way, and the two cars touched wheels as they went through turn three side by side. Unser's car spun out of control to hit the outside wall, while Fittipaldi was able to maintain sufficient control to keep his car moving straight. In spite of the altercation, Unser saluted Fittipaldi from the infield with a double thumbs-up sign as he brought his car through turns three and four on the subsequent caution-slowed final lap.

Emerson Fittipaldi racing in the Indianapolis 500 in 1994

Roger Penske hired Fittipaldi for his racing team in 1990 and he continued to be among the top drivers in CART, winning at least one race with Penske for six straight years. In 1993 he added a second Indianapolis 500 victory by taking the lead from defending Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell on lap 185 and holding it for the remainder. The race saw him break Indianapolis victory lane tradition when he drank a celebratory bottle of orange juice instead of the traditional bottle of milk. He was only the second driver to not drink milk at Indianapolis since the tradition was founded in 1936 (and firmly established in 1956). Fittipaldi owned several orange groves in his native Brazil, and wanted to promote the citrus industry. He was widely criticized and ridiculed for the action, even though he later took a sip of milk after the television cameras were off.

Fan reaction to the milk snub was highly negative, and he was booed a week later at Milwaukee. In the years following, many fans continued to hold the action against him. In interviews since, Fittipaldi explained his action, and apologised for the wave of negativity that followed. Fittipaldi returned to Indianapolis to drive the Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car for the 2008 Indianapolis 500. Despite coming clean, he was again booed and heckled by some fans during the Public Drivers' Meeting.

Approaching 50, he was still with Champ Car in 1996 when an injury at the Michigan International Speedway ended his career. Fittipaldi did not return to the series as a driver after the injury. Emerson Fittipaldi finished his Champ Car career with 22 wins. In 2003 he made a return to Champcars as a team owner.

Later career[edit]

Emerson Fittipaldi in the 2011 São Paulo Indy 300. He waved the green flag at the start of the race.

Fittipaldi was the acting team principal for the Brazilian A1 GP entry.

In 2005 Fittipaldi made a surprise return to competitive racing in the Grand Prix Masters event held at Kyalami in South Africa, finishing second behind former CART sparring partner Nigel Mansell.

In 2008, Emerson and his brother Wilson entered the Brazilian GT3 Championship, driving a Porsche 997 GT3 for the WB Motorsports team.[9] In 2011 he started embracing social media by opening up an official Twitter and Facebook account, as well as becoming a Chairman of Motorsport.com.[10]

In 2013 he began writing a regular monthly blog column on the official website of McLaren.

Award[edit]

He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2001.

Racing record[edit]

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Pts.
1970 Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus 49C Ford V8 RSA
ESP
MON
BEL
NED
FRA
GBR
8
GER
4
AUT
15
10th 12
Lotus 72C Ford V8 ITA
DNS
CAN
USA
1
MEX
Ret
1971 Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus 72C Ford V8 RSA
Ret
ESP
Ret
6th 16
Lotus 72D Ford V8 MON
5
NED
FRA
3
GBR
3
GER
Ret
AUT
2
CAN
7
USA
NC
World Wide Racing Lotus 56B P&W gas turbine ITA
8
1972 John Player Team Lotus Lotus 72D Ford V8 ARG
Ret
RSA
2
ESP
1
MON
3
BEL
1
FRA
2
GBR
1
GER
Ret
AUT
1
CAN
11
USA
Ret
1st 61
World Wide Racing Lotus 72D Ford V8 ITA
1
1973 John Player Team Lotus Lotus 72D Ford V8 ARG
1
BRA
1
RSA
3
2nd 55
Lotus 72E Ford V8 ESP
1
BEL
3
MON
2
SWE
12
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
NED
Ret
GER
6
AUT
Ret
ITA
2
CAN
2
USA
6
1974 Marlboro Team Texaco McLaren M23 Ford V8 ARG
10
BRA
1
RSA
7
ESP
3
BEL
1
MON
5
SWE
4
NED
3
FRA
Ret
GBR
2
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
ITA
2
CAN
1
USA
4
1st 55
1975 Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M23 Ford V8 ARG
1
BRA
2
RSA
NC
ESP
DNS
MON
2
BEL
7
SWE
8
NED
Ret
FRA
4
GBR
1
GER
Ret
AUT
9
ITA
2
USA
2
2nd 45
1976 Copersucar-Fittipaldi Fittipaldi FD04 Ford V8 BRA
13
RSA
17
USW
6
ESP
Ret
BEL
DNQ
MON
6
SWE
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
6
GER
13
AUT
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
15
CAN
Ret
USA
9
JPN
Ret
17th 3
1977 Copersucar-Fittipaldi Fittipaldi FD04 Ford V8 ARG
4
BRA
4
RSA
10
USW
5
ESP
14
MON
Ret
SWE
18
12th 11
Fittipaldi F5 Ford V8 BEL
Ret
FRA
11
GBR
Ret
GER
DNQ
AUT
11
NED
4
ITA
DNQ
USA
13
CAN
Ret
JPN
1978 Fittipaldi Automotive Fittipaldi F5A Ford V8 ARG
9
BRA
2
RSA
Ret
USW
8
MON
9
BEL
Ret
ESP
Ret
SWE
6
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
4
AUT
4
NED
5
ITA
8
USA
5
CAN
Ret
10th 17
1979 Fittipaldi Automotive Fittipaldi F5A Ford V8 ARG
6
BRA
11
USW
Ret
ESP
11
BEL
9
MON
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
21st 1
Fittipaldi F6 Ford V8 RSA
13
Fittipaldi F6A Ford V8 GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
8
CAN
8
USA
7
1980 Skol Fittipaldi Team Fittipaldi F7 Ford V8 ARG
NC
BRA
15
RSA
8
USW
3
BEL
Ret
MON
6
FRA
Ret
15th 5
Fittipaldi F8 Ford V8 GBR
12
GER
Ret
AUT
11
NED
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret

Formula One non-championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1971 Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus 72C Ford V8 ARG
Ret
ROC
Ret
QUE
Ret
SPR
7
INT
Ret
RIN
OUL
VIC
2
1972 John Player Team Lotus Lotus 72D Ford V8 ROC
1
BRA
Ret
INT
1
OUL
2
REP
1
VIC
Ret
1973 John Player Team Lotus Lotus 72D Ford V8 ROC
Ret
INT
Ret
1974 Marlboro Team Texaco McLaren M23 Ford V8 PRE
1
ROC
3
INT
1975 Marlboro Team McLaren McLaren M23 Ford V8 ROC
5
INT
2
SUI
Ret
1978 Fittipaldi Automotive Fittipaldi F5A Ford V8 INT
2
1980 Skol Fittipaldi Team Fittipaldi F7 Ford V8 ESP
5

CART results[edit]

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Rank Points
1984 WIT Racing March 83C Ford Cosworth DFX LBH
5
PHX
12
15th 30
March 84C INDY
Ret
MIL POR
H&R Racing MEA
7
CLE
Ret
MIS ROA POC
Patrick Racing MDO
4
SAN
Ret
MIS2
12
PHX2 LS LVG
Ret
1985 Patrick Racing March 85C Ford Cosworth DFX LBH
2
INDY
Ret
MIL
8
POR
3
MEA
2
CLE
8
MIS
1
ROA
5
POC
6
MDO
8
SAN
Ret
MIS2
13
LS
Ret
PHX
8
MIA
Ret
    6th 104
1986 Patrick Racing March 86C Ford Cosworth DFX PHX
3
LBH
Ret
INDY
7
MIL
Ret
POR
Ret
MEA
2
CLE
Ret
TOR
Ret
MIS
Ret
POC
Ret
MDO
Ret
SAN
3
MIS2
3
ROA
1
LS
7
PHX2
5
MIA
Ret
7th 103
1987 Patrick Racing March 87C Chevrolet 265A LBH
Ret
PHX
Ret
INDY
Ret
MIL
7
POR
Ret
MEA
3
CLE
1
TOR
1
MIS
7
POC
Ret
ROA
Ret
MDO
6
NAZ
Ret
LS
Ret
MIA
10
10th 78
1988 Patrick Racing March 88C Chevrolet 265A PHX
Ret
LBH
Ret
INDY
2
MIL
3
POR
3
7th 105
Lola T88/00 CLE
Ret
TOR
4
MIS
Ret
Lola T87/00 MEA
Ret
POC
Ret
MDO
1
ROA
1
NAZ
8
LS
Ret
MIA
Ret
1989 Patrick Racing Penske PC-18 Chevrolet 265A PHX
5
LBH
3
INDY
1
MIL
Ret
DET
1
POR
1
CLE
1
MEA
2
TOR
2
MIS
Ret
POC
Ret
MDO
4
ROA
5
NAZ
1
LS
5
1st 196
1990 Team Penske Penske PC-19 Chevrolet 265A PHX
5
LBH
2
INDY
3
MIL
3
DET
7
POR
9
CLE
3
MEA
6
TOR
Ret
MIS
Ret
DEN
Ret
VAN
6
MDO
12
ROA
2
NAZ
1
LS
6
5th 144
1991 Team Penske Penske PC-20 Chevrolet 265A SRF
Ret
LBH
Ret
PHX
3
INDY
Ret
MIL
8
DET
1
POR
2
CLE
2
MEA
7
TOR
Ret
MIS
Ret
DEN
2
VAN
Ret
MDO
2
ROA
6
NAZ
8
LS
4
5th 140
1992 Team Penske Penske PC-21 Chevrolet 265B SRF
1
PHX
3
LBH
3
INDY
Ret
DET
8
POR
2
MIL
4
NHA
Ret
TOR
Ret
MIS
Ret
CLE
1
ROA
1
VAN
Ret
MDO
1
NAZ
7
LS
19
4th 151
1993 Team Penske Penske PC-22 Chevrolet 265C SRF
2
PHX
Ret
LBH
13
INDY
1
MIL
3
DET
Ret
POR
1
CLE
2
TOR
2
MIS
13
NHA
3
ROA
5
VAN
7
MDO
1
NAZ
5
LS
2
2nd 183
1994 Team Penske Penske PC-23 Ilmor 265D SRF
2
PHX
1
LBH
Ret
MIL
2
DET
2
POR
2
CLE
Ret
TOR
3
MIS
Ret
MDO
3
NHA
3
VAN
9
ROA
3
NAZ
3
LS
4
2nd 178
Mercedes-Benz 500I INDY
Ret
1995 Team Penske Penske PC-24 Mercedes-Benz IC108B MIA
Ret
SRF
Ret
PHX
3
LBH
Ret
NAZ
1
INDY
DNQ
MIL
Ret
DET
10
POR
Ret
ROA
15
TOR
10
CLE
Ret
MIS
5
MDO
Ret
NHA
5
VAN
7
LS
16
11th 67
1996 Hogan Penske Penske PC-25 Mercedes-Benz IC108C MIA
13
RIO
11
SRF
Ret
LBH
Ret
NAZ
4
500
10
MIL
4
DET
Ret
POR
Ret
CLE
Ret
TOR
Ret
MIS
Ret
MDO ROA VAN LS 19th 29

Indy 500 results[edit]

Twin-engine racing Beetle developed by Wilson and Emerson Fittipaldi
Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
1984 March Cosworth 23rd 32nd WIT
1985 March Cosworth 5th 13th Patrick
1986 March Cosworth 11th 7th Patrick
1987 March Chevrolet 33rd 16th Patrick
1988 March Chevrolet 8th 2nd Patrick
1989 Penske Chevrolet 3rd 1st Patrick
1990 Penske Chevrolet 1st 3rd Penske
1991 Penske Chevrolet 15th 11th Penske
1992 Penske Chevrolet 11th 24th Penske
1993 Penske Chevrolet 9th 1st Penske
1994 Penske Ilmor-Mercedes 3rd 17th Penske
1995 Lola Ilmor-Mercedes Failed to Qualify Penske

Complete 24 Hours of Daytona results[edit]

Year Class No Tyres Car Team Co-Drivers Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1985 GTP 85 G March 85G
Buick Turbo
United States Ralph Sanchez Racing United States Tony Garcia
Colombia Mauricio DeNarvaez
DNS

Hillclimbing record[edit]

Goodwood Festival of Speed[edit]

Year Car Time Pos. Class
Pos.
2013 Lotus 25 (Climax) 70.83 24th 3rd

Helmet[edit]

Fittipaldi's helmet is blue (sometimes with a dark blue grid effect) with a red vertical stripe crossing the helmet from the top and a red horizontal stripe that covers all the area under the visor (resulting in the blue part forming 2 circles). In some seasons he adds a Brazilian flag in the sides, or changes the helmet model (Simpson bandit or Bell model with 2 eyeholes). In his formula Indy years, the vertical stripe has 5 black lines, the blue changes to navy and on the blue area on the top were added sky blue and azure cylinders. His compatriot Tarso Marques sports a helmet with similar design, with the vertical stripe being fluo yellow and on the side of the inferior area there are red curved lines rather than a horizontal line.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ История Эмерсона Фиттипальди, рассказанная им самим
  2. ^ Ludvigsen (2002) p.26 Fittipaldi's paternal grandfather was Italian, and his maternal grandmother was Russian.
  3. ^ Emerson Fittipaldi oficializa união com Rossana Fanucchi em São Paulo, GloboEsporte, 8.12.2012.
  4. ^ George Harrison in Brazil and Singing Tribute to Emerson Fittipaldi (Sounds and Colours)
  5. ^ On the Move: Emerson Fittipaldi Sunday Times - August 26, 2007
  6. ^ Ludvigsen, Karl (2002) 'Emerson Fittipaldi' p.136 Haynes Group. ISBN 1-85960-837-X
  7. ^ Fittipaldi to Retire (December 12, 1980) The Times page 20
  8. ^ Emerson Fittipaldi 8w.forix.com Retrieved 28 February 2006
  9. ^ Emerson Fittipaldi vai correr na GT3 Brasil globo.com Retrieved 30 July 2008
  10. ^ "Emerson Fittipaldi to Become Chairman of Motorsport.com, a Comprehensive Online Destination for the Motorsports World", "The New York Times", August 16, 2011, accessed August 24, 2011.
Books

Ludvigsen, Karl (2002). Emerson Fittipaldi Heart of a Racer. Osceola: Motorbooks International. ISBN 1-85960-837-X. 

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tim Schenken
British Formula Three Championship
BRSCC Series Champion

1969
Succeeded by
Dave Walker
1970 BRSCC Lombank Series
Succeeded by
Tony Trimmer
1970 BRSCC Motorsport/Shell Series
Preceded by
Graham Hill
BRDC International Trophy winner
1972
Succeeded by
Jackie Stewart
Preceded by
Jackie Stewart
Formula One World Champion
1972
Succeeded by
Jackie Stewart
Preceded by
Clay Regazzoni
Brands Hatch Race of Champions
Winner

1972
Succeeded by
Peter Gethin
Preceded by
Jackie Stewart
Formula One World Champion
1974
Succeeded by
Niki Lauda
Preceded by
Rick Mears
Indianapolis 500 Winner
1989
Succeeded by
Arie Luyendyk
Preceded by
Danny Sullivan
CART Series
Champion

1989
Succeeded by
Al Unser, Jr.
Preceded by
Al Unser, Jr.
Indianapolis 500 Winner
1993
Succeeded by
Al Unser, Jr.
Records
Preceded by
Jim Clark
27 years, 188 days
(1963 season)
Youngest Formula One
World Drivers' Champion

25 years, 273 days
(1972 season)
Succeeded by
Fernando Alonso
24 years, 58 days
(2005 season)

External links[edit]