Police launch manslaughter probe into Anthoine Hubert death after F2 driver’s tragic crash at Belgian GP

BELGIAN police have launched a manslaughter inquiry into the tragic death of F2 driver Anthoine Hubert.

And motorsport’s governing body — the FIA — have opened a separate investigation into the 150mph crash.

F2 driver Hubert tragically lost his life in a horrendous crash at Spa
Getty – Contributor
Hubert hit the barrier during the Formula 2 race on Saturday afternoon and was confirmed dead that evening
Hubert hit the barrier during the Formula 2 race on Saturday afternoon and was confirmed dead that evening
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Hubert, 22, was involved in a fatal collision on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit at the Belgian Grand Prix. 

It is standard practice in Belgium to start a probe into any fatal road accident and does not in itself imply criminal charges are likely.

The Renault development driver crashed into the wall on the exit of Eau Rouge and rolled back into the track.

Juan Manuel Correa, 20, collided into the side of him which obliterated Hubert’s vehicle.

Both were taken to hospital and it was announced that Hubert had passed away around an hour and a half after the collision.

Correa will remain in intensive care for another 24 hours after undergoing emergency treatment on multiple fractures to his legs and a minor spinal injury.

A Belgian magistrate said: “For the moment, there’s nothing to suggest any negligence, but that will be for the experts to determine.

“From the point where someone had died and the police had made a report, it was necessary for the competent prosecutor to open an objective investigation.”

Road safety experts have been called in to help with the inquiry.

FIA race director Michael Masi said an investigation had now been launched to establish what caused the tragedy and what improvements can be made in future.

He said: “There is an investigation that started and it will go from here.

For the moment, there’s nothing to suggest any negligence, but that will be for the experts to determine.

A Belgian magistrate

“The FIA with our technical department, our safety department, and all of the various departments in the FIA commenced an investigation immediately.

“The FIA, together with the RACB [Royal Automobile Club of Belgium], will work together with the authorities.

“We will go through the process of conducting a full and complete investigation, as the FIA does with all serious incidents.

“It doesn’t matter if it is circuit racing, rallying, whatever it might be. It will be all aspects of the incident.”

Just hours after Hubert’s fatal accident, Formula 3 driver Simo Laaksonen suffered a scary crash on the same track.

Laaksonen crashed into the tyre barrier at high-speed but this time burrowed under the wall which was supposed to protect him.

Fortunately, Laaksonen was protected by the halo, which prevented his head from striking the barriers at speed.

However, serious questions will now be asked of the FIA ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

The circuit is the fastest on the calendar and Masi will need to ensure that every barrier around the circuit is suitably reinforced and offers the maximum protection.

Masi also rejected the suggestion that a tarmac run-off area — like the one involved in Hubert’s crash – encourages a driver to keep the power down after going off the circuit.

He added: “I don’t think it is a worry for the future. I think it is one of those where you need to look at every single circuit and every single circumstance on its own.

“That one [at Raidillon in Spa], it is not a bad run-off. It is actually the pit exit road for the other pit-lane, so I don’t think you can generalise like that.”

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton says that is has faith in the FIA and backed Masi to continue to make improvements like his predecessor, Charlie Whiting, who died unexpectedly in Australia before the first race of the year.

Hamilton said: “There’s a huge amount of work the FIA has done up to this point.

“They’ve been working incredibly hard and have made big steps already.

“When Charlie was here, they made massive steps forward, so we’ll continue in that direction.”

The motorsport world was in mourning following the horrendous news
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Charles Leclerc dedicated his Belgian GP win to the late Anthoine Hubert
AP:Associated Press

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