Vitaly Petrov Steps Down as Portuguese GP F1 Steward After a Tragic Personal Loss

Published 10/25/2020, 1:57 AM EDT


Portuguese GP steward and former driver Vitaly Petrov stepped down from his role as the steward to attend to his deceased father, who was reportedly shot in Russia. Formula E safety car driver Bruno Correia will take his place in the stewards’ panel.

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The news definitely came as a shock to everyone in the F1 community. So much so that the FIA released an official statement regarding the same.

Petrov recently grabbed headlines owing to his disagreements with Lewis Hamilton. The British powerhouse had previously criticized Petrov’s appointment as a race steward.

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Regardless of the squabble between him and Hamilton, these are tough times for Petrov. And so the FIA let Petrov go back home to Russia, on ‘personal bereavement’ grounds.

The official statement from the FIA read, “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. Bruno Correia, Safety Car Driver in the FIA Formula E Championship and FIA WTCR will take over the position.”

Petrov formerly raced for Renault and Caterham

Vitaly Petrov was previously a part of the Formula 1 racing action, having stints with teams like Renault, Lotus, and Caterham. He participated between the years 2010-2012 and made 58 race starts.

He then went on to take part in the Le Mans 24 Hours championships but discontinued racing after 2019. And as has been stated, Petrov was set to oversee the exciting Portuguese Grand Prix as a ‘drivers’ steward’.

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Race Director Michael Masi also weighed in and offered his condolences to Petrov and spoke about the steward replacement. He said, “first and most importantly our thoughts with Vitaly and his family at this time.

“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 Portimão.”

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It has undoubtedly been a tough week or so for Petrov. And now, heartfelt thoughts and wishes will certainly pour in for his personal loss.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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