Emanuele Pirro, the drivers steward on the panel that handed Sebastian Vettel his Canadian Grand Prix penalty, says he is hurt by criticism he has received from former racers. Pirro has become the villain of the piece in some eyes after Vettel had victory in Montreal taken away by his sanction.
Vettel’s punishment corresponded with the FIA’s regulations, which have also been criticised, but world champions Mario Andretti and Nigel Mansell lashed out at the decision on social media.
Pirro raced against Mansell in the late 1980s and early 1990s and says the decision was made with safety in mind.
“Fortunately, I also had many expressions of solidarity from F1 and racing people,” Pirro is quoted by FormulaPassion.
“It hurts, however, that great former racers like Mario Andretti and Nigel Mansell have said what they said.
“Today this is no longer the case, the world has changed, the races have changed.
I think the function of the stewards is to penalize flagrantly unsafe moves not honest mistakes as result of hard racing. What happened at #CanadaGp is not acceptable at this level of our great sport. @F1
— Mario Andretti (@MarioAndretti) June 9, 2019
That’s ridiculous 5 seconds penalty,Seb did well not to hit the https://t.co/f2onSfj4Bl GRIP ON GRASS !
No room on track there.Great driving from Lewis.
— Nigel Mansell CBE (@nigelmansell) June 9, 2019
“A thousand battles have been fought for safety and indeed that also includes how a race is conducted.
“As a fan of racing and of Ferrari in particular, I am sorry that the race ended like this.
“As you can well understand, it is not easy to take certain decisions but the sports’ integrity must come before everything else.”