Formula 2 driver, Anthoine Hubert had an untimely death last year. The promising young Frenchmen who raced for BWT Arden was involved in a fatal crash last year in Belgium. On the second lap of the feature race held at Spa, Hubert’s car was hit by Juan Manuel Correa. Hubert had initially been flung towards the barriers after making contact with Ralph Boschung’s car who himself had slowed down to avoid the debris on the track caused due to Giuliano Alesi’s crash. After rebounding off the barrier, Hubert’s Arden was hit by Correa at a speed of around 270kmph. Both cars were ripped apart and Hubert and Correa were airlifted to a hospital. There the Frenchman succumbed to his injuries. In honor of Hubert’s first sprint race victory at his home track, the FIA published a video clip.
In the feature race, Hubert only managed a lowly 15th in qualifying. However, he managed to climb up to 8th in the grid by the time he crossed the checkered flag. Finishing 8th gave him an advantage since that meant he would be starting first in the sprint race. For those who don’t know, there is no qualifying for sprint races. Instead, the feature race finishing positions determine the starting grid. Only there is a slight twist, the top 8 in the grid are reversed.
So technically winning a pole, young Hubert drove a brilliant race. He defended his position and beat the likes of ‘to be crowned’ F2 champion Nyck de Vries and current Williams driver Nicholas Latifi among others to win the sprint event. This was Hubert’s second consecutive sprint race victory. He had also won at Monaco a month earlier. However, this victory at the Circuit Paul Ricard would have felt even more special because of his home crowd being out there to watch and support him.
On the day of Hubert’s crash, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc dedicated his first-ever F1 win to him. His car number #19 was also retired soon thereafter. Hubert will always remain in every F1 fans’ hearts. Rest in Peace, Anthoine.