Motorsport delivered another terrible reminder of its danger with the tragic news that BWT Arden driver Anthoine Hubert was killed in an horrific accident in the FIA Formula 2 Championship Feature Race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

The 22-year-old Frenchman speared off the circuit at the top of Raidillon on the second lap of the race. His car ricocheted off the barriers back onto the circuit before being struck broadside by Juan Manuel Correa’s Sauber Junior Team by Charouz entry. Correa’s car flipped over, while Hubert’s car was split into multiple pieces. Trident’s Giuliano Alesi was also involved in the collision, pulling his car off the circuit at the Kemmel Straight.

The race was immediately suspended as marshals and medical personnel attended the scene; officials then confirmed that the race would not be restarted given the severity of the accident although no immediate updates were given on the conditions of either Hubert or Correa.

At nearly 7:00pm local time, motorsport’s governing body the FIA announced that Hubert had died as a result of his injuries. Correa is being treated at the CHU Liège hospital with non life-threatening leg injuries. Alesi was uninjured.

Hubert is the first driver to die in an accident at a Grand Prix event since Jules Bianchi succumbed to his head injuries nine months after his accident at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

Born in Lyon, Hubert began racing karts as a three-year-old. He won the French Formula 4 Championship title in 2014 and the 2018 GP3 Series title en route to making his debut in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with the BWT Arden team. He claimed two fine reversed-grid Sprint Race wins at Monte Carlo and Paul Ricard, while also being part of Renault’s academy programme.

“The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile regrets to advise that a serious incident involving cars 12 [Correa], 19 [Hubert] and 20 [Alesi] occurred at 17:07 on 31/08/19 as a part of the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race at Spa-Francorchamps,” a statement from the FIA reads.

“The scene was immediately attended by emergency and medical crews, and all drivers were taken to the medical centre.

“As a result of the incident, the FIA regrets to inform that the driver of car 19, Anthoine Hubert (FRA), succumbed to his injuries, and passed away at 18:35.

“Juan Manuel Correa is in a stable condition and is being treated at the CHU Liège hospital. More information on his condition will be provided when it becomes available.

“Giuliano Alesi was checked and declared fit at the medical centre.

“The FIA is providing support to the event organisers and the relevant authorities and has commenced an investigation into the incident.”

Sunday’s Sprint Race has been cancelled as a mark of respect.

Image via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Geoff Burke

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