Emerson Fittipaldi is the son of prominent Brazilian motorsports press reporter and radio commentator Wilson Fittipaldi Sr and his wife Józefa Juzy Wojciechowska, a Polish refugee.
He was racing motorcycles in 14 years old, and aged 16 hydrofoils. Even as racing one day, his brother Wilson took off at 110 km/h and landed upside down – they together decided that although he had survived, they would no longer race hydrofoils and gone to racing karts.
In Formula 1
Emerson Fittipaldi was 1st full year as Lotus’ lead driver in 1971, He was completed sixth in the drivers’ championship as the team additional developed the previous season’s Lotus 72. Armed with what was doubtfully the greatest F1 design of all time, the Lotus 72D, Fittipaldi proved unalterable 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 Lotus 72D, he began to struggle in the new 72E that was unveiled mid-year. It resulted in the overturn of the earlier year, Stewart beating Fittipaldi for the Drivers Championship by 16 points; though the mixture of the 72D and E’s points earnings were sufficient to gain Team Lotus the 1973 F1 Manufacturers Championship.
Fittipaldi leave Lotus to sign with the talented McLaren team. Driving the highly efficient McLaren M23, he had three victories in 1974, reached the podium four other times, and hit out Clay Regazzoni in a close battle for his second championship. The subsequent season, he notched 2 more victories and 4 other podiums, but was second to a leading Niki Lauda. But, at the height of his F1 achievement, Fittipaldi surprised everyone by leaving McLaren to race for older brother Wilson Fittipaldi’s Copersucar-sponsored Fittipaldi Automotive team.
It was scarcely an excellent organization and the double champion regularly struggled, still failing to qualify for 3 races in his time there. Despite this, he remained with the team for 5 seasons but only managed a best finish of second. Emerson Fittipaldi decided to retire from racing at the end of 1980 seson.