Formula 1 driver steward Emanuele Pirro has explained how the social media backlash he received in the wake of the penalty handed to Sebastian Vettel at the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix, subsequently changed his life.
Pirro’s racing career spanned almost 30 years, most famously taking victory at Le Mans on five occasions, and he has been the driver representative on the stewarding panel on several occasions.
The initiative to feature an ex-driver in the stewards’ room was introduced in 2010 but it was in 2019 when Pirro was involved in a controversial decision at that year’s race in Canada.
Race leader Vettel went wide through Turn 4 and was judged to have re-joined the circuit unsafely and forcing pursuer Lewis Hamilton off-track, receiving a five-second time penalty in the process.
The penalty dropped Vettel from first on the road to second, behind Hamilton, sparking widespread discussion in the aftermath.
Speaking on the official F1 podcast Beyond The Grid, Pirro explained that outside observers are not equipped with the same level of information that is available to stewards.
“[It was] very much unpleasant, in a way it changed my life and also my perception, now my relationship with social media is very different,” said Pirro. “It hurts me more when I see people complaining.
“I think social media enhances the one characteristic we all more or less have which is complaining and frustration.
“I think social media gives the tool to many people to express their frustration, unfortunately not with the knowledge required to analyse certain things and so, that was really unpleasant.
“But more than all the insults that I had, it was because it was a straight-forward [decision], just people did not understand it and at the end the of the day, the whole motorsport of Formula 1 lost something because the majority of the world had a bad perception.
“So at the end we [gave] one [decision] to one racing [incident], [and] this was hurting the whole of F1 because it was perceived in an incorrect way.”
While accepting some decisions may appear controversial, Pirro stressed that stewards have to oblige by the rulebook.
“So this hurt me because I love the sport so much,” he added. “I thought ‘for god’s sake, why don’t they understand that the one who has to win, has to win and not the one you want to win’.
“I think the whole world wanted Sebastian Vettel to win because he was going through a tough time, it was just a wonderful story. If you score and it’s offside, it’s got to be offside. Somebody has to take the decision to make sport fair.”
What ever you say…. it was the wrong decision you made and you can suffer the consequence of that forever and a day as it lives for free in your head.
Nope. It was the right decision. Let it go – stop letting it live in YOUR head.
Hamilton was catching Vettel hand over fist, it was inevitable that that the pass would have come. By handing out this stupid and contentious penalty, the fans trackside – who paid hundreds of dollars to be there per person (myself included) – were robbed of an exciting race, and were instead gifted a clerical decision that many didn’t agree with anyway and provided zero excitement or value.
Do you even need to ask me whether I’ll spend money on any more F1 races?
It is often not understood that the requirement placed on a judge (or in this case steward) is to establish the facts and apply the letter of the rules (unless the rules leave room for interpretation). They do not have freedom to just impose what they think would be popularly seen as a fitting outcome, or even what they themselves think would be ‘fair’. They must establish ‘Did x occur, yes or no?’ and if evidence establishes that x did happen they must apply the specified penalty for that offence. Some rules may have a caveat (‘if an advantage was thereby gained’ or ‘if it was intentional’) but a huge proportion are strict absolute liability (the penalty applies for proven contravention absolutely irrespective of whether it was deliberate of whether advantage was gained). Thus a single video still or telemetry data point proving a technical contravention compels a penalty, irrespective of the adjudicator’s personal feelings or opinion.
Everything to satisfy the needs of Luluhami
Do your parents know you are on here.
Jesus, my 9 year old grandson has more maturity than you.
This wasnt even about Hamilton yet somehow you feel it appropriate to twist the conversation away from subject.
Não é a primeira vez que Vettel foi prejudicado, basta ver no México em 2016 com as manobras da Redbull, também em 2017 com as manobras do max… Enfim uns podem outros não, mas deixar as decisões numa só pessoa parece patético num desporto onde uma corrida ultrapassa o orçamento de muitas grandes equipas de futebol! Que foi mal ajuizado isso foi visível mas Pirro agora aguenta! A Fórmula1 já não é o que era! É toda a gente a chamar batoteiro uns aos outros!!!
We should honor the stewards, but it looks like they are running support these days rather than the sport itself. During this race, I agree seb was going through tough times but he was already in front of of Lewis and was defending his position. Also Lewis knew that Vettel was going to close him. He too didn’t slow down. He intentionally ran in. Why was he not penalized then. Also the rule book is there to (guide) in case of confusion. But the judgement lies with human.