The world of motorsport has been paying tribute to Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert after the Frenchman died at the age of 22 following injuries sustained in a horrific crash at the Belgian Grand Prix.
BWT Arden driver Hubert collided with the barriers while passing through the Raidillon swerves section on lap two of the race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
His vehicle was then struck at high speed by the Sauber Junior car of Juan Manuel Correa, which was reportedly traveling at around 170mph.
Hubert’s car was smashed in two by the impact, while the crash left Correa’s feet exposed as the front section of his car broke away, keeping him trapped in the cockpit.
Correa, 20, is said to be in a stable condition in hospital, although governing body the FIA confirmed that Hubert had tragically died of his injuries.
After the news, tributes came in from the motorsport community for a talented young driver who was rising through the ranks, and who had picked up two victories in his first year in F2.
Responding to the news on Instagram, current F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton wrote: “This is devastating. God rest your soul, Anthoine. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family today.
“If a single one of you watching and enjoying this sport think for a second what we do is safe your hugely mistaken. All these drivers put their life on the line when they hit the track and people need to appreciate that in a serious way because it is not appreciated enough,” he added.
“Not from the fans nor some of the people actually working in the sport. Anthoine is a hero as far as I’m concerned, for taking the risk he did to chase his dreams. I’m so sad that this has happened. Let’s lift him up and remember him. Rest in peace brother.”
Fellow drivers past and present also shared their condolences on social media, as did motor racing teams as well as commentators and fans.
The entire Mercedes family sends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Anthoine Hubert, and his Arden and Renault teams on this tragic day.
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) August 31, 2019
Thoughts and prayers with the family of Anthoine Hubert this evening, along with his friends and all at Arden and the F2 Paddock after he passed away as a result of his injuries from a crash today. Juan Manuel Correa is stable and being treated in hospital. Heartbreaking news
— David Croft (@CroftyF1) August 31, 2019
It is with deep sadness that McLaren Racing learns of the passing of Anthoine Hubert in today’s Formula 2 race. The team sends its heartfelt condolences to Anthoine’s family and loved ones, his colleagues at the Arden team, and the entire F2 community. pic.twitter.com/pfhRS7fBbO
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) August 31, 2019
Organizers of the F1 race at the same venue on Sunday are yet to announce how that event will be affected by Saturday’s tragic incident.