Emanuele Pirro will return to the FIA Stewards' panel for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix

Five-time Le Mans winner and former F1 driver Emanuele Pirro will make a return to the FIA Stewards’ panel for this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

This will be the third time that the 50-year-old has served as the Drivers’ Representative with the FIA Stewards, with Pirro having previously done so at last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix and the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

One of Formula 1’s ‘nearly men’, the Italian is one of motorsport’s most versatile performers and was a success in virtually every category he competed, with the notable exception of Formula 1.

Having had a one-off test with Brabham in the mid-1980s, Pirro joined McLaren as its test driver during their all-conquering 1988 championship season, before he was hired by Benetton to serve the same role in 1989.

Promoted into the team’s race line-up mid-season at the expense of Johnny Herbert (who, coincidentally served on the FIA panel at the first two races this year), he peaked with a fifth place at the rain-hit Australian Grand Prix.

The following year saw him move to the Scuderia Italia team, where he remained for two seasons. He earned another points’ finish with sixth place at the 1991 Monaco Grand Prix.

He switched to touring cars the following year, and in the late 1990s embarked on a highly successful move to Audi’s Le Mans racing line-up, which saw him win the famous Le Mans 24 Hours on five occasions.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.