Five-time Le Mans winner and former F1 driver Emanuele Pirro will serve on the FIA Stewards’ panel for this weekend’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix, a position he has held at a number of events in the past.

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.

Pirro had limited success in F1

Pirro had limited success in F1

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, he peaked with a fifth place at the rain-hit Australian Grand Prix.

The following year saw him move to the Scuderia Italia Dallara 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.

Image via Corbis Images and

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Geoff Burke

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