FIA steward Pirro hits back at Ferrari bias claims
(GMM) Emanuele Pirro hit back on Friday amid criticisms of his appointment as a FIA steward for the 2010 championship finale.
Critics say the Roman-born former F1 driver and Ferrari fan is too closely aligned to the famous Italian team, whose Fernando Alonso is leading the championship with just this decisive race left to run.
The apparent conflict of interest was highlighted not only by Britain's Daily Mail but also the largest-circulation European newspaper, Bild Zeitung.
"Even the third largest daily newspaper in Italy denounced that an Italian should be officiating the final race when Ferrari is fighting for the title," 48-year-old Pirro told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
He added: "For me, this is a very responsible task, and even if I have my own favorite, I am able to be impartial.
"And if there is an Italian who has nothing at all to do with Ferrari, I am him," said Pirro.
The report said Red Bull's Helmut Marko had jokingly spoken to Pirro about his apparent links with championship rival Ferrari in Abu Dhabi.
Pirro replied: "Maybe you don't know that when I was in the (German touring car series) DTM, Red Bull was my sponsor!"
He also insisted that he was invited to be the Abu Dhabi steward at the very beginning of 2010.
"I thought to myself at the time: it will be a nice quiet job with the world championship probably already decided," said Pirro.