FIA steward "hurt" by F1-legends' criticism of Vettel penalty

13-06-2019 12:04
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
FIA steward hurt by F1-legends' criticism of Vettel penalty

After the discussion that raged following the Sebastian Vettel-penalty in Canada last weekend, FIA drivers steward Emanuele Pirro has admitted "it hurts" for him to have so many ex-drivers criticise the decision.

After slightly losing the tail of his SF90, Vettel went onto the grass at turn 4 of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and rejoined the track still not fully in control of his car. Lewis Hamilton, who was right behind Vettel, tried to pass on the outside but was forced to brake in order to avoid a collision, as Vettel was blocking the Brit's path.

The stewards gave Vettel a five-second penalty for the incident, something which stirred a lot of controversy across F1 (social) media. Many former F1 drivers like Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell and Mark Webber firmly disagreed with the decision, and this is something that pains Pirro, a former F1 driver himself.

"Fortunately, I also had many expressions of solidarity from F1 and racing people," the driver of 37 Grands Prix told FormulaPassion.

"It hurts, however, that great former racers like Mario Andretti and Nigel Mansell have said what they said."

Pirro, a phenomenal driver in his own right who has won five Le Mans titles among other things, defended the stewards' decision of the penalty, saying racing is no longer the same as in the days of some of the legends who were so critical.

"Today this is no longer the case, the world has changed, the races have changed. 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."

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