Petrov replaced as Portuguese GP steward after bereavement

Petrov replaced as Portuguese GP steward after bereavement

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 antiracism gesture by six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The Russian had said Hamilton wearing a T-shirt calling for US 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.