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Two-time F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi facing bankruptcy

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Two-time F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi facing bankruptcy

Two-time F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi poses with $1,001,604.00 in cash after winning the 1989 Indianapolis 500. Fittipaldi became the first winner to take home more than $1 million for winning “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” (Seth Rossman, AP)

Formula One double world champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi is facing bankruptcy and could lose prized possessions from his racing career, including the car that won the 1993 Indianapolis 500, Brazilian television is reporting.

O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper said 69-year-old Fittipaldi, one of Brazil’s most famous racing names and a two-time F1 world champion, has accumulated debts to the tune of $27 million. The report said Brazilian courts have now acted, ordering the confiscation of cars and trophies belonging to Fittipaldi amid the bankruptcy of multiple businesses and orange farms of his.

Officials reportedly seized Fittipaldi’s 1989 Indy 500-winning car from his offices and museum, as well as the Copersucar F1 car that Fittipaldi raced in 1975.

“The cars were disassembled and will be auctioned,” the Brazilian newspaper said.

A spokesperson for Fittipaldi, who won 14 Grands Prix in an F1 career that lasted 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.

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