F2 Driver Hubert Killed in Crash at Belgian Grand Prix

By Ilene Eng

French Driver Anthoine Hubert has died in a crash at the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps Aug. 31.

Shortly into the race, the 22-year-old hit a barrier at the Eau Rouge section of the track while going full speed on the second lap. His car bounced back on track and collided with American driver Juan Manuel Correa, 20.

Hubert’s car exploded to pieces.

Anthoine Hubert of France and BWT Arden celebrates after winning the sprint race of the F2 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard on June 23, 2019 in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
Track marshals lift the damaged car of BWT Arden’s French driver Anthoine Hubert onto a truck following a serious accident involving several drivers during a Formula 2 race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Spa, Belgium, on August 31, 2019. (REMKO DE WAAL/AFP/Getty Images)
The damaged car of BWT Arden’s French driver Anthoine Hubert following a serious accident involving several drivers during a Formula 2 race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Spa, Belgium on August 31, 2019 . (REMKO DE WAAL/AFP/Getty Images)

The race was red-flagged and did not restart.

According to a statement released by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), “a serious incident involving cars #12, #19 and #20 occurred at 17:07 on 31/08/19 as a part of the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race at Spa-Francorchamps, round 17 of the season.”

“The FIA regrets to inform that the driver of car #19, Anthoine Hubert (FRA), succumbed to his injuries, and passed away at 18:35,” it stated. “The driver of car #20 Giuliano Alesi (FRA) was checked and declared fit at the medical centre.”

Mechanics sit in a deserted pit lane following a serious accident involving several drivers during a Formula 2 race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Spa, Belgium, on August 31, 2019. (REMKO DE WAAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Correa, driver of car #12, is reported to be in stable condition at CHU Liège hospital.

Hubert was born in Lyon, France, in 1996. At age 12, he started his karting, or go-kart, career.

In 2013, he joined the French F4 Championship and finished the season with 11 wins. After that, he competed in various races and championships.

In 2019, he joined BWT Arden, a multiple formula racing team.

Safety Warning

There was a safety advisory released in 2015 by Ron Simons, CEO and Chief Instructor at RSRSpa, about the Eau Rouge section of the race track.

“Ironically it is not Eau Rouge that causes problems, it’s the uphill stretch (18% incline) leading into Raidillon which is often the scenery of horrific accidents, with total loss of car and ego as a result,” he said.

Rivals dared each other for competitions in that area.

In 1985, a German racing driver collided with a fellow racer and passed away.

“The complexity of the section is in the down-hill compression / up-hill sequence at very high speeds. However what many do not realise is there’s much more to it than only this,” Simons said.

Some common mistakes are going too quick too soon, straightening at the entrance at the Eau Rouge too much, and not seeking advice from an expert on the track.

Simons provided some tips in the case something does go wrong, the driver can safely maneuver the car without a scratch.