On August 31, 2020, Formulation 2 driver Anthoine Hubert was killed in a horrifying crash throughout the opening phases of the sequence’s characteristic race at Spa-Francorchamps. With the Formulation One circuit returning to the circuit for the primary time one yr from Hubert’s demise, many drivers are reflecting on their reminiscences with the motive force.
Hubert, solely 22 years outdated on the time of his demise, was the 2018 GP3 Collection champion—the ultimate one within the existence of the sequence earlier than it grew to become often known as Formulation 3. His first-year Formulation 2 outcomes had been strong: on the time of his demise, he had competed in 16 races and secured two wins and 10 top-10 finishes. Regardless of not competing the ultimate six races of the season, Hubert completed in 10th within the drivers’ championship.
The sequence has paid its respects by opting to completely retire the No. 19, which had been Hubert’s quantity on the time of his demise.
“Practically one yr on from the tragic passing of Anthoine Hubert at Spa, Formulation 2 formally confirms that the quantity 19 will not be used within the Championship,” the assertion learn. “19 will eternally be Anthoine’s, in reminiscence of the late Frenchman, whose star nonetheless shines brightly over our paddock.”
As well as, a emblem has been designed in Hubert’s honor. Half a star that accommodates Hubert’s initials and quantity might be added to all F2 and F3 automobiles. Many F1 drivers have opted to include the emblem onto their helmets or automobile designs as nicely.
A minute of silence was noticed forward of F2’s characteristic race on Saturday.
Juan Manuel Correa, the motive force that struck Hubert’s out-of-control automobile at Spa, suffered his personal bevy of well being issues. He suffered extreme accidents to his lungs and proper leg, and he spent two weeks in a coma. After that, he returned dwelling to concentrate on restoration. He’s on the monitor this weekend and was one of many drivers to go to the positioning of Hubert’s accident.
In an interview on the F2 Instagram web page, Correa famous that he’s seeking to make his racing comeback subsequent yr. “I’ve been recovering actually rapidly, pushing quite a bit with that racer mindset, at all times doing greater than obligatory, however it’s labored out nicely,” he mentioned. He continued:
I’ve nonetheless fairly just a few surgical procedures left to go, however the entire metallic [frame] round my leg ought to be passed by the tip of this yr, which suggests I can soar in a automobile, possibly as early as December.
Concerning his return to Spa, Correa mentioned:
I felt there was a manner for me to form of shut the chapter, however extra importantly to pay my tribute to Anthoine. I haven’t been in a position to take action correctly from Miami. It’s simply been one thing I had pending. I felt that popping out right here this weekend, I received the invitation from F2, and I took it in a heartbeat.
I’m pleased to be right here, I’m pleased to see all of the folks from the paddock once more. Nevertheless it’s additionally going to be a really emotional weekend for me.
A number of F1 drivers themselves have additionally paid respects, essentially the most poignant of which can be Alpha Tauri driver Pierre Gasly’s tribute helmet. The pink scheme mimics that of Hubert and features a strip of photographs of Hubert. Gasly’s regular helmet this season options each Hubert and Jules Bianchi, who ultimately succumbed to accidents sustained throughout an accident on the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.
“I really know that I’d have by no means achieved what I did with out rising with him, as a result of we had been pushing one another a lot, whether or not it was on-track or off the monitor,” Gasly mentioned throughout his crew’s press convention. “I had recognized him since I used to be seven years outdated in karting. We had been in the identical faculty collectively organized by the French motorsport federation. From once I was 13 to 19 and we shared an condominium for six years.
“I feel everybody within the paddock will take time to think about him.”
Different drivers posted their ideas on social media, together with a number of tales from driver Jack Aitken.
To stop additional accidents, in Could of 2020 the FIA launched a sequence of modifications set to be carried out within the design of future automobiles, together with particles containment by way of using tethering, elevated frontal and facet power of the security cell, entrance wing and helmet redesigns, the potential introduction of car-to-car communication to report accidents, and a brand new tire strain monitoring system.
The Anthoine Hubert Award was additionally launched on the prize giving in Monaco in 2019. The prize is given to the the very best scoring driver with out prior F2 expertise in honor of Hubert’s two wins in his rookie season. The inaugural award was given to Guanyu Zhou.