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FIA steward finds variety in race control not working

FIA steward finds variety in race control not working

22 January - 14:36 Last update: 14:59


Emanuele Pirro, former driver and FIA steward is convinced that the construction with alternating race directors cannot work. In conversation with Formulapassion.it the Italian also talks about the intended replacement for the now deceased Charlie Whiting.

After a brief stint in Formula 1 with just three points in 40 races, Pirro has proved much in long-distance racing. These include five wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as two in the 12 Hours of Sebring, three in the Petit Le Mans and one in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. Now that he has hung up his helmet, the former Italian driver is putting his experience at the disposal of the international motorsport federation in the not easy role of steward, which has also been confirmed for the 2023 season:"I will be there in four or five Grands Prix, it's a commitment that honours me and in which I am much involved," he explained.

Power vacuum

As a steward, Pirro has had the opportunity to observe how things work, especially compared to the recent past. In his view, the sudden death of race director Charlie Whiting in March 2019 has created a real power vacuum:"It is a difficult situation because we are coming from a long period where one man, Charlie Whiting, was at the centre of everything: race director, safety representative and he was the point of contact for the drivers and the team bosses."


The former Benetton and Scuderia Italia driver further revealed that the successor to the late Briton should have been Laurent Mekies, Ferrari's current sporting director: "Since Whiting's death, there has been a crisis: Laurent Mekies, who was supposed to replace him, was brought in by Ferrari, Masi was removed from his position as everyone knows, leaving Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas as the best available, but alternation cannot work," Pirro warned. He concludes, "You have to make sure there are more people ready, because the race director can only grow in his role that way, you cannot train him from outside."

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