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Vitaly Petrov steps down as Portuguese GP steward after father's death

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Former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov will be replaced as a steward at the Portuguese Grand Prix following the death of his father in Russia.

The RIA Novosti agency reported earlier that Petrov's father Alexander had been shot dead at his home near Vyborg, north of St Petersburg, according to a law enforcement source.

Vitaly Petrov was working as one of four stewards at this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix.

Shortly after the news broke, the FIA confirmed that Vitaly would not continue as a steward in Portugal.

"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," a statement said.

"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."

The appointment of Petrov, Russia's first Formula One driver, had been criticised after he gave an interview last month criticising an anti-racism gesture by six-times world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The Russian had said Hamilton wearing a T-shirt calling for U.S. police to be arrested for the killing of Black medical worker Breonna Taylor was 'too much'.

The FIA said it appointed stewards with the relevant F1 experience and expertise and who had expressed an interest in the role.