The Belgian Grand Prix weekend was rocked by the tragic death of Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert today. The French driver for the Arden team was advancing through the junior series as a part of the Renault junior driver program with wins in Monaco and the French GP this year.
The Frenchman’s car hit the tire barrier while exiting Eau Rouge corner and slid back on the track where it was directly hit by Juan-Manuel Correa’s car. Both cars were compromised and into two pieces with Correa in stable condition and recovering from reported broken legs. Hubert succumbed to his injuries at 18:35 local time.
The tragic incident was met with shock by the motorsport community with current and past drivers from all series paying respects and sharing their thoughts about Hubert. Arden team owner, Garry Horner, is the father of Red Bull boss Christian Horner who said:
“(It) is a reminder of just how cruel motorsport, the sport we love, can be,” Christian Horner said. “In his rookie season, Anthoine was demonstrating to be a star of the future having already won races in Monaco and France this year.”
Cyril Abiteboul and the entire Renault F1 team were stunned and offered an immediate response to the tragedy:
“Anthoine was a member of the Renault Sport Academy and raced in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, the final ladder to F1 … 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.”
The collision was estimated to be approximately 160mph and it was a stark and sober gin reminder of just how dangerous motorsport is. With amazing advances in safety technology at every level or racing, fans can become anesthetized to just how dangerous the sport still is at every event.