Pierre Gasly leads tributes to Anthoine Hubert at Belgian GP circuit - how did the driver die?
Pierre Gasly has paid tribute to F2 driver Anthoine Hubert at the spot where he lost his life ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix
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Pierre Gasly has led tributes to Anthoine Hubert and Dilano van ‘t Hoff ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix. Formula 2 driver Hubert was just 22 years old when he lost his life during a race in Spa in 2019.
Gasly has also shared a tribute on his Instagram which read: “Miss you Tonio. Thanks to everyone who joined today, had a thought or prayers for Tonio & Dilano. Proud of our sport in moments like today. RIP young champs.”
The tribute to the drivers comes just weeks after 18-year-old Hoff also lost his life on the track following an incident in FRECA at the start of July. The driver was the 49th person to lose their life on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Formula 1 is set to race at the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend, with Gasly, a close friend of Hubert organising a run in memory of the two drivers. The Frenchman, 27, invited all teams from F1, F2 and F3 to take part in the run, with Gasly sharing that he felt this was the best way to pay tribute to Hubert.
Gasly said: “I’m someone that is emotional. I think I link places with emotions, and I’ve had the worst emotions of my life here. But at the same time, it’s only one of my favourite tracks, so it’s very contradictory.
“I love this track, and I love racing this track, but at the same time I’ll never forget what I felt going down these stairs [in the paddock] when my parents told me the news. It’s obviously tough, but I accept the sport that we do, and it’s things you have got to live with. It’s also life, as sad as it can be.”
Gasly was joined on the rain-drenched tribute run by a large group, including Zhou Guanyu and Juan Manuel Correa, who was involved in the crash that killed Hubert. Correa suffered spine damage, broke both his legs and was placed into a coma after the accident four years ago, but made his return to F2 this season.
Gasly, who drives for Alpine, said that although the run may not seem important to the world, it was “meaningful” to him. He also shared that the event had been organised before the death of Hoff, adding: “It might be small things for people, but it’s a lot bigger for me, and a lot more meaningful.
“It was a conversation which started early in the season. Everybody knows how close I was with Anthoine and I think they all know also how close he was with the team. This was organised well before the tragic incident which happened a couple of weeks ago.
“But I just think it’s great that we all as a community, when these things happen, everyone that is part of Formula 1, whether it’s F2 or F3, the racing family comes together.”
Gasly was seen laying flowers on the Kemmel Straight, which is the site of the crash that killed Hubert, with Hoff’s mother doing the same for her son. Gasly has laid flowers at the site of the crash every year since Hubert was killed in 2019.
The safety of the race track has been the focus of this weekend, with rain expected to fall all weekend, with George Russell calling for the race to be cancelled if conditions are too poor.
Who is Anthoine Hubert and how did he die?
Anthoine Hubert was born in Lyon, France on September 22, 1996. The driver raced for the Formula 2 championship before he tragically died at the Belgian Grand Prix.
During the race at Spa, driver Giuliano Alesi had crashed at the Raidillon curve after his car suffered a punctured tyre on the second lap of the race. Several cars behind Alesi were able to brake in time but due to the poor weather conditions Hubert clipped one of the slowing cars.
Hubert then hit the barrier before being struck by Juan Manuel Correa, who drove into the area near the French driver’s cockpit at around 130-160mph. The impact broke both cars, and the drivers were taken quickly to the circuit’s medical area, with Hubert sadly being declared dead at 6.35pm.
The FIA ruled that no driver was to blame for the crash that resulted in the death. They said that there was “no evidence that any driver failed to react appropriately in response to the yellow flag or to the circumstances on track.”