Last Updated: 22/10/20 8: 35pm
Lewis Hamilton has expressed “surprise” with all the FIA’s appointment of Vitaly Petrov as a steward at this weekend’s Colonial GP in the wake of questionable comments made by the former F1 car owner.
Petrov is producing his debut on the four-person stewards’ officiating panel as the driver consultant, after appearing in 57 grands prix in 2010-12.
But comments attributed to the 36-year-old in an interview with Russian store Championat provoked controversy after Petrov was quoted as saying Hamilton’s wearing of a Breonna Taylor T-shirt at the Tuscan GP was “too much”.
Petrov seemed to be quoted as saying: “What if some of the drivers comes out as gay and lesbian? Will they go out with a range flag and urge everyone else to get gay or something? ”
The Russian’s comments were put to Hamilton within Thursday’s FIA press conference on the Portuguese GP.
“I’ve not seen all the quotes, certainly you’ve just recited some of them, inch replied Hamilton, a powerful voice within calling for equality and variety.
“So yes, naturally , that is I would say a surprise to find out that they would be hiring someone that provides those beliefs and is so singing about things that we’re trying to fight towards.
“So you should bring it up with them really, it’s absolutely nothing I can particularly do anything about this. But we should definitely be including individuals here who are with the times, that are understanding of the times that we are living within and sensitive to the matters which are surrounding us.
“So I don’t really quite determine what their goal is or precisely why particularly he’s here because a possibility that they don’t have any other good choices. ”
The FIA said in a statement: “The FIA appoints driver stewards with the related Formula 1 experience and experience to carry out this function at the greatest level, and who have expressed the to the FIA in being a car owner steward.
“The Federation does not discriminate in this process based on views expressed outside of their work as an FIA Steward, provided that such expression does not contravene the FIA’s regulations and Code of Integrity. ”
The particular FIA and F1 have highly reinforced their respective commitments in order to improving diversity and opportunities within the sport, with F1 launching the particular We Race as One initiative recording along with a task force and basis to widen inclusion.
The sport stages an anti-racism display on the grid ahead of races, along with drivers wearing T-shirts calling to have an end to racism, with the vast majority also taking a knee.
Hamilton has created a commission in the own name to understand the obstacles to entry for young people through diverse backgrounds to get into motorsport.
Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate, said: “As Lewis mentioned, we all should have the same mindset for that things that we are pushing on. We don’t know any details [of what was said]. ”