French F2 driver Anthoine Hubert dies in mid-race Belgian Grand Prix crash aged 22
The sport of Formula Two has gone into mourning after one of their drivers, Anthoine Hubert, was killed mid-race during the Belgian Grand Prix.
The Associated Press reports: "the Frenchman lost his life at the high-speed circuit after an estimated 160 mph (257 kph) collision with 20-year-old U.S. driver Juan-Manuel Correa’s car, as they accelerated uphill and then out of the notorious Eau Rouge corner on Lap 2. Hubert appeared to lose control of his car on the exit of the corner before slamming into the far-side barrier. His car flew off the tire wall and slid across the circuit before he was hit by Correa’s car."
Formula1.com in a tribute posted on their website calls Hubert "the Fourth Musketeer in a group of upcoming young French-speaking hotshoes comprising Charles Leclerc, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, as they all climbed the racing ladder."
Hubert's fellow drivers have expressed their shock and sadness at his death.
Absolutely shocked by the tragic accident of Anthoine Hubert. Terrible. My thoughts are with him and his family, friends, team and loved ones. #F2 pic.twitter.com/NzLTSfqmqT— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) August 31, 2019
absolutely speechless.. what a tragedy!! my thoughts are with the family and friends of Anthoine Hubert — Nico Hülkenberg (@HulkHulkenberg) August 31, 2019
Devastating news. God bless your soul Anthoine. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today — Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) August 31, 2019
Later commenting on the dangers of the sport, five-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton said: “If a single one of you watching and enjoying this sport think for a second what we do is safe your [sic] hugely mistaken. All these drivers put their life on the line when they hit the track and people need to appreciate that in a serious way because it [sic] not appreciated enough. Not from the fans nor some of the people actually working in the sport. Anthoine is a hero as far as I’m concerned, for taking the risk he did to chase his dreams. I’m so sad that this has happened. Let’s lift him up and remember him. Rest in peace brother.”
Thoughts and prayers with the family of Anthoine Hubert this evening, along with his friends and all at Arden and the F2 Paddock after he passed away as a result of his injuries from a crash today. Juan Manuel Correa is stable and being treated in hospital. Heartbreaking news— David Croft (@CroftyF1) August 31, 2019
Here is the full statement from th Renault F1 team:
"Renault Sport Racing is devastated at the loss of one of its brightest young talents, Anthoine Hubert, who passed away today following an accident involving several cars at Circuit Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium."
"Anthoine was a member of the Renault Sport Academy and raced in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, the final ladder to F1. As reigning GP3 champion and member of the Equipe de France, FFSA (French Federation of Motorsport), the Frenchman was a huge talent who also brought great energy and positivity to his championship, his teams and the Renault Sport Academy. His smile and sunny personality lit up our formidable group of young drivers, who had formed tight and enduring bonds.
"His strong results in F2 this season, including wins on home soil in Monaco and France, inspired not just the other recruits but also the wider Renault Sport Racing group."
“Our thoughts are with Anthoine’s friends and family at this tragic time. “Anthoine was a bright young man. His performance and conduct on and off track was that of a true gentleman and it was a pleasure and honour to have had him within our Academy. He will be sorely missed by our teams at Enstone and Viry. His spirit will remain with the team and we will race in his memory.”