Sports News

Petrov replaced as Portuguese GP steward after bereavement

Formula One F1 - Portuguese Grand Prix - Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal - October 24, 2020 General view during practice Pool via REUTERS/Jose Sena Goulao

(Reuters) - Russian Vitaly Petrov has been replaced as a Portuguese Grand Prix steward due to a personal bereavement, Formula One’s governing body said on Saturday.

The RIA Novosti agency reported earlier that Petrov’s father Alexander had been shot dead at his home near Vyborg, north of St Petersburg, according to a law enforcement source.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said Portugal’s Bruno Correia, safety car driver in the Formula E series, would replace Petrov as steward for Sunday’s race at the Algarve circuit near Portimao.

The appointment of Petrov, Russia’s first Formula One driver, had been criticised after he gave an interview last month criticising an anti-racism gesture by six-times world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The Russian had said Hamilton wearing a T-shirt calling for U.S. police to be arrested for the killing of Black medical worker Breonna Taylor was ‘too much’.

The FIA said it appointed stewards with the relevant F1 experience and expertise and who had expressed an interest in the role.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge