SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium: French driver Anthoine Hubert has died in a Formula Two accident at the Belgian Grand Prix.
The 22-year-old Hubert died following an estimated 160 mph (257 kph) collision on Lap 2 at the high-speed Spa-Francorchamps track, which earlier Saturday saw qualifying for Sunday’s Formula One race.
Hubert raced for the British-owned Arden team.
Motorsport’s governing body FIA said Hubert “succumbed to his injuries, and passed away at 18:35” local time.
The racing community quickly expressed its sadness at the accident.
McLaren addressed its “heartfelt condolences to Anthoine’s family and loved ones, his colleagues at the Arden team, and the entire F2 community.”
Five-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, who earlier had qualified third on the same track, wrote on Instagram: “This is devastating. God rest your soul Anthoine. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family today.”
Hubert won two F2 races this season and was eighth in the championship standings.
The FIA’s statement also gave details of the other two drivers involved: U.S. driver Juan-Manuel Correa — a 20-year-old in his rookie season — and Giuliano Alesi, the son of former F1 Ferrari driver Jean Alesi.
Hubert’s car sustained a huge impact after being hit by Correa’s car at the exit of a corner early into the race, which was canceled a few minutes later.
Correa, who races for the Sauber Junior team, was “in a stable condition” and being treated at Liege hospital while 19-year-old rookie Alesi was checked and declared fit at the on-site medical center.
Both Hubert’s and Correa’s cars were severed in two following the crash, with Correa’s car flipped upside down
FIA says it is investigating the incident.
French F1 driver Jules Bianchi died in July 2015, after a head-on collision with a track-side crane at the Japanese GP at Suzuka in October 2014.
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