Otago Daily Times

Steward appointmen­t queried


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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