New broke Saturday that former F1 driver and this weekend’s guests race steward, Vitaly Petrov, has been replaced after the tragic death of his father who was shot at his home in Vyborg.
“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.
“The thoughts of the FIA are with Vitaly and his family at this time.”
Vitaly has been replaced by Bruno Correia for the race on Sunday. Bruno is the safety car driver for Formula E.
FIA race director Michael Masi extended his sympathies to the Petrov family.
“Firstly and most importantly our thoughts with Vitaly and his family at this time,” he said.
“From that perspective with regards to a replacement driver steward, we’re fortunate in that long-term FIA safety car driver in Formula E and for the World Touring Car Cup Bruno Correia lives locally in Portimao. So he will join us tomorrow morning.
“We arranged everything with regards to COVID testing and so forth, and he will join the stewards’ panel in the morning.
“Obviously we’re very thankful to Bruno, and as I said our thoughts are with Vitaly and his family.”
Vitaly had created some controversy with his comments regarding Lewis Hamilton’s t-shirts on the podium earlier this week. The LGBTQ+ group, Racing Pride, issued a statement protesting the appointment of Petrov as a steward.
What was truly unfortunate was seeing the social media comments celebrating the death of Petrov’s father based on these previous comments earlier this week.