Ex-Formula 1 driver Vitaly Petrov has stepped down from his FIA stewarding position at this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix following the death of his father. 

Multiple media outlets in Russia reported that Alexander Petrov, 61, died at his home in Vyborg on Saturday evening. 

The FIA has since issued a statement confirming that Petrov has stepped down from his role on the stewarding panel because of "a personal bereavement". 

He will be replaced by FIA Formula E Safety Car driver Bruno Correia for the remainder of the weekend.

"The FIA confirms that, due to a personal bereavement, the Driver Steward for the 2020 FIA Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix, Vitaly Petrov, will not continue with his duties for the remainder of the weekend," an FIA statement read.

"The thoughts of the FIA are with Vitaly and his family at this time.

"Bruno Correia, Safety Car Driver in the FIA Formula E Championship and FIA WTCR will take over the position." 

Petrov started 64 grands prix in F1 during a three-season stint between with Renault and Caterham between 2010 and 2012. He is also a Le Mans 24 Hour podium finisher. 

His inclusion on the stewards' panel in Portimao was questioned by F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton after recent controversial comments made by Petrov regarding the Black Lives Matter Movement and the championship's support of the #WeRaceAsOne initiative. 

LGBTQ+ organisation Racing Pride condemned the decision to appoint Petrov to the role of race steward in Portugal in light of his views on racism and homosexuality. 

The Portuguese Grand Prix takes place at the Algarve International Circuit at 1:10pm on Sunday. 

 

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