Few remembered Vitaly Petrov by Formula 1 until, a few days ago, he decided to criticize the activism of Lewis Hamilton. “And if a pilot turns out to be gay, will he urge us all to become gay?” He said, asking the former champion to stop pushing the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

Those words of the Russian put him in the focus of controversy, which the FIA ​​seems to want to promote. The one that was a Renault racer and the extinct one Caterham between 2010 and 2012 he was elected as commissioner of the Portuguese GP, in Portimao. At each Grand Prix, a former driver enters the panel of judges to help, from their point of view, decide possible sanctions or evaluate breaches of the regulations.

This election has attracted numerous criticisms in the pro-rights movement LGBTQ+, and specifically from the ‘Racing Pride’ association.

“Racing Pride would like to express its concern over the appointment of Vitaly Petrov as FIA Steward for this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Pride in light of his recent public comments on the #WeRaceAsOne initiative, which were racist and homophobic in nature. These comments not only show ignorance regarding inclusion in the sport, but we also believe that such comments from an FIA commissioner are incompatible with Article 1.2 of the FIA ​​Code of Ethics, which states that ‘participants in FIA activities’ will not be discriminated against on the basis of factors including race, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic or social origin “.

Hamilton surprised

Lewis Hamilton he also referred to the election of Petrov. At the press conference prior to the Portuguese GP, the six-time champion was “surprised” by the FIA ​​for considering “people with those beliefs” for such an important position.

“We should include people who are up to date with the times, who understand the society we live in and are sensitive to the issues around us. I don’t really understand what their goal is or why they are here. It’s not like they don’t exist. other good options, “criticized Hamilton.

Petrov’s best result in Formula 1 was the third place achieved at the 2011 Australian GP in a Lotus Renault. Until last year, he was enrolled in the Russian team Junior Racing of the Resistance World Cup, until its disappearance.