Vitaly Petrov has stood down as a driver steward at the Portuguese Grand Prix following the sudden death of his father.
Reports in Russia claim that Alexander Petrov was found dead in his villa near the city of Vyborg, with some suggesting he was assassinated. Shortly after the news broke, the FIA announced Petrov would not be continuing as driver steward “due to a personal bereavement”, with a replacement being introduced for Sunday’s event.
“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.”
Former Lotus Renault and Caterham Formula 1 driver Petrov was a controversial choice for the driver steward position this weekend following recent comments about the Black Lives Matter and We Race As One movements.
His father was an elected official for Vyborg City Council with a number of local business interests, making him an influential figure in the region.