Former Grand Prix driver Mika Salo will make his first appearance of the 2013 Formula 1 season on the FIA Stewards’ panel at this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Finn, whose F1 career ended in 2002 with the Toyota F1 team, was a perennial midfielder since making his Grand Prix debut with Lotus in 1994.
Subsequent stints with Tyrrell, Arrows, BAR, Sauber and Toyota showed the odd flash of form in far from competitive machinery, but it was a handful of races with Ferrari in 1999 (substituting for the injured Michael Schumacher) that gave F1 fans a glimpse of Salo’s talents.
He should have won the German Grand Prix had he not had to cede the win to title-aspirant team-mate Eddie Irvine. He consolidated this with further points at Belgium and another podium at Monza before Schumacher returned from his convalescence.
Post-F1, 46-year-old Salo has spent time in the GT racing scene (taking class honours at the 24 Hours of Le Mans) as well as the occasional touring car outing.
The likes of Danny Sullivan, Derek Warwick and Mark Blundell have offered their input in the Stewards’ decision-making at the previous three Grands Prix this season.