AUGUST 29, 2019
Vettel penalty steward Pirro returns at Spa
Former F1 driver Emanuele Pirro is making his return as an FIA steward this weekend at Spa.
After Montreal in June, the former Benetton driver revealed he had to go to the police following "personal threats" made by fans of Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel lost his victory in Canada after the stewards there, including Pirro, controversially penalised the German for unsafely rejoining the track after an off.
"I think my life changed in Canada and it will never be like it was before," Pirro told Italian radio Rai at the time.
But another of the Canada GP stewards, Hans-Gerd Ennser, told the German newspaper Die Welt this week that the FIA panel actually decided against also penalising Vettel for his post-race tantrum.
In parc ferme, Vettel famously swapped the number 1 and number 2 finishing markers in protest, which in theory was a protocol breach and arguably worthy of a disrepute charge.
"He was terribly angry, and when you get terribly angry you sometimes do things that you might regret the next day," Ennser said.
"In that case you can use a bit of tact and turn a blind eye," he added.
"We thought, because of the high emotions and the immense pressure, no further penalties should be imposed."