Alexander Petrov, the father of the former Formula 1 driver, was found dead in his own home in Vyborg, Russia on Saturday. The businessman, who was also active in local politics, was allegedly killed by a bullet, according to Russian media.
In a statement, the FIA said that Vitaly Petrov has withdrawn from the Portuguese Grand Prix due to ‘a death in the private sphere’. The 36-year-old Russian acted as driver’s steward for the first time this weekend at the Portimao circuit.
The appointment of the Russian, who scored his only podium finish in Formula 1 during the Australian Grand Prix in 2011, led to some criticism from Lewis Hamilton. The former Formula 1 driver had recently been critical of the fact that Formula 1 has entered the racism debate this year with the #WeRaceAsOne initiative and the anti-racism statement preceding each Grand Prix.
In the statement, the FIA expresses its condolences to the Petrov family. Bruno Correia, the driver of the Safety Car in Formula E and the WTCR Championship, will take over as driver’s steward on Sunday during the Portuguese Grand Prix.
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