Otago Daily Times

Stew­ard ap­point­ment queried

- Sports · Formula One · Car Racing · Motorsports · Lewis Hamilton · Stanislav Petrov · McLaren · Racing Point F1 Team · Lance Stroll · Vitaly Petrov · Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

POR­TI­MAO: For­mula One cham­pion Lewis Hamil­ton ques­tioned the ap­point­ment of Vi­taly Petrov as a Por­tuguese Grand Prix stew­ard yes­ter­day after the Rus­sian ex­racer crit­i­cised his cam­paign­ing anti­racism stance.

Petrov, who in 2010 be­came the first Rus­sian to race in For­mula One, told Rus­sian sports web­site Cham­pi­onat last month Hamil­ton wear­ing a T­shirt calling for US po­lice to be ar­rested for the killing of black med­i­cal worker Bre­onna Tay­lor was ‘‘too much’’.

‘‘Let’s say a driver ad­mits to be­ing gay. Will they come out with a rain­bow flag and urge ev­ery­one to be­come gay as well? I think the FIA will no longer al­low such be­hav­iours,’’ Petrov said,

‘‘Not sure if it will give me a lit­tle bit of an edge on the driv­ers who are new to the track, but we’ll have to wait and see,’’ the McLaren driver said.

The race will have spec­ta­tors, but lim­ited to 27,500 a day un­der lo­cal reg­u­la­tions to com­bat the spread of ac­cord­ing to trans­lated quotes pub­lished in the me­dia.

In­formed that the Rus­sian would be a stew­ard at to­mor­row’s race at the Al­garve cir­cuit, and with the quotes read out to him, Hamil­ton ex­pressed sur­prise.

‘‘I’ve not seen all the quotes — you’ve just re­cited some of them,’’ he said.

‘‘So yes, of course, that is I would say a sur­prise to see that they would be hir­ing some­one that has those be­liefs and is so vo­cal about things that we are try­ing to fight against.’’

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

the new coro­n­avirus.

Rac­ing Point’s Lance Stroll, the sec­ond F1 driver to con­tract Covid­19 after his Mex­i­can team­mate Ser­gio Perez, should be fit to race after miss­ing the last round and test­ing neg­a­tive on Mon­day. — Reuters

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