Vitaly Petrov will compete the remainder of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix in a back racing helmet to pay his respects to the victims of Russia’s latest air tragedy, which occurred earlier this week.

Almost the entire Lokomotic professional ice hockey team was killed among a total of 43 victims who perished when the Yak-42 plane they were travelling in crashed shortly after take-off from Yaroslavl on Wednesday.

“I want to offer my greatest condolences to all the families and friends of victims of this awful catastrophe,” Petrov is quoted as saying.

“It doesn’t matter which team you support, the whole of Russia is shocked by what has happened. I don’t understand how things like that could have happened because after recent catastrophes aviation control was doubled.”

Petrov is also sporting a black eye after copping the facial injury in the ritual pre-race F1 drivers’ match.

[Original image via Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.