Formula Two driver became the first to be killed in an accident at an F1 weekend for 25 years after Saturday’s horrific accident
Anthoine Hubert, 22, was killed in a horrific, high-speed accident when exiting the Eau Rouge corner at Spa. The much-liked Frenchman from Lyon went off the track at around 150mph, took a major impact into the barriers and then another when he was hit by the car of Juan Manuel Correa, who could do nothing to avoid it. Hubert was taken to the medical center but died shortly afterward. Correa has had leg and spinal surgery and remains in intensive care.
Belgian authorities have since opened a manslaughter inquiry on Monday into the circumstances around Hubert’s fatal accident as the sport’s ruling body said improved safety standards and research into better protection for drivers would never stop.
Following the death of Antoine Hubert, many have been reminded of the risks motor drivers’ take when getting behind the wheel and Daniel Ricciardo questions whether the risk is worth taking.
“You question, is it really worth it?” said the Renault driver after finishing 14th on Sunday.
“At the end of the day, it is a simple question but a pretty honest one as well.
“It’s our job and it’s our profession and it’s our life, but also it’s still just racing cars around in circles.”
The death of Antoine Hubert during an F2 race served tragic notice that for every effort to improve safety, drivers are still always putting their lives at jeopardy for entertainment. But, no driver who enters motor racing is unaware of this. Drivers accept the risk when putting on their helmet and climbing behind the wheel, and safety in motorsports is always being improved but the potential for accidents can never be eliminated.
Retired French racing driver Alain Prost said Sunday that motor racing must continue the relentless pursuit of “even better” safety standards.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 1, 2019
Less than 24 hours after Hubert’s death, Leclerc, who raced against the French driver in the junior categories of motor racing, delivered an impressive performance from pole position to take the chequered flag ahead of Hamilton, with Valtteri Bottas in third.
Leclerc pointed towards the sky during Sunday’s muted podium celebrations and later admitted his first grand prix win was bittersweet.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 2, 2019
“On one hand a childhood dream has been realised,” said Leclerc, 21. “On the other hand it has been a very difficult weekend. I have lost a friend. I would like to dedicate my first win to him.
“It was definitely the first situation for me where I have lost someone and then raced the following day. It is obviously quite challenging to close the visor and go through the exact corner [where he died] at the same speed as I did the day before.”
It was the first death at a Grand Prix weekend since Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger were killed at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
Jules Bianchi died in July 2015 from injuries he sustained at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.