Formula 1 great Emerson Fittipaldi has had legendary racing cars from his private collection seized amid reports of deep financial problems.
Rede Record (Record TV) showed on its Sunday Spectacular news magazine that the Penske Racing Indy-winning car, along with trophies and office furniture that Fittipaldi kept as part of a personal museum, were seized after creditors went to court seeking repayment of debts that total approximately $7.5 million ($27 million Brazilian real). The items are currently being held at the Interlagos circuit and will be evaluated and auctioned off.
Tuesday’s statement sent to The Associated Press said the two-time F1 champion was optimistic about overcoming this situation.
“Emerson Fittipaldi believes that he will solve this issue with more work. He has confidence in the future economic outlook and financial health of his companies,” the statement said, adding that the driver never hid his financial struggles or denied interviews on the subject. “He is seeking partnerships and solutions for this situation.”
“The racing cars and the trophies earned by the two-time F1 and Indy 500 champion belong to a museum dedicated to all racing fans in Brazil,” the statement said.
“As soon as this issue is solved, they will return to their place. Emerson laments what has happened, but is not discouraged by these difficulties and is confident that these problems will be solved.”
A spokesperson for Fittipaldi, who won 14 grands prix in his career until 1980, said the former McLaren driver is willing to negotiate with his creditors to settle the situation caused by the financial and political crisis gripping Brazil.
“He has confidence in the economic future of the country and the financial health of his companies,” the spokesperson added.