August 31, 2019
Anthoine Hubert 1996 - 2019 While I may not be writing about Formula 1 these days, I'm still following the goings-on in and around the sport. Heck, I'm even still watching the races though without the usual fervor. Which is why I winced when I checked my phone just a short time ago and saw that today's F2 race at Spa-Francopants had been red-flagged, then cancelled altogether, following a "horrific" crash at Eau Rouge/Radillion. I winced even harder when I finished up my morning shower, sat in front of my computer, and discovered that in the intervening time the FIA had released a statement on the incident. A driver had been killed.
Video of the accident can be seen here if you want to see it. Reports say that the driver in front of him, Giuliano Alesi, wrecked which wound up involving Hubert. His car hit the tire barrier at the exit of Radillion, site of many accidents in the past, rebounded back onto the track, where he was then hit by the car driven by Juan-Manuel Correa. The t-bone accident split Hubert's car, tearing off everything behind the cockpit, and sent Correa skidding down the track upside down. All three drivers were taken to the infield care center. Alesi was treated and released with only bumps and bruises. Correa has been transported to a hospital in Liege, and at last report is in stable condition. Hubert was declared dead at the care center.
I did not know much about Anthoine Hubert before right now. I knew he was in F2, and I must have seen him on track a couple of times as I've watched a few streamed F2 races this season. He was reigning world F3 champion, which means he likely had a good chance at reaching Formula 1 eventually. As can be seen in the photo above, he had a relationship with Renault Sport as a member of their young driver program.
F2, which races twice per weekend, has already cancelled Sunday's sprint race. Formula 1 has already said that they'll race as scheduled. No information yet about what sort of tributes will be held. It's interesting to note that this is supposedly the first driver death at a circuit in F2 or F1 since That Horrible Weekend when Ratzenberger and Senna were both killed... or at least that's what SKY is reporting. F1 polesitter Charles LeClerc posted this photo of the two of them just a short time ago, I can't imagine what's going through LeClerc's mind right now, and I only just discovered that Jules Bianchi was his godfather.
More as information warrants. Condolences from The Pond to all families, fans and friends of Hubert.
Edit: Here's a breakdown of what happened in the crash. Includes a new camera angle.
Juan Manuel Correa suffered fractures to both legs and a "minor spinal injury." He underwent surgery and as of reports released at 7pm Pond Central Time is in Intensive Care. He was incredibly lucky, as the breakdown above shows his feet were exposed. It takes a lot of impact to do that, essentially tearing the front of the safety cell off. This could have been a double fatality easily enough.
Edit 2: clear video appeared overnight. Spans from before Alesi's accident to seeing trailing cars slam on their brakes to avoid plowing into the shattered remains of Hubert and Correa's cars. I think I'm done watching these.
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