FIA Concludes Investigation into Anthoine Hubert’s Fatal Spa-Francorchamps Crash

by Paul Hensby

The FIA has concluded its investigation into the crash that saw the death of Anthoine Hubert and the injuries to Juan Manuel Correa during last year’s FIA Formula 2 feature race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Hubert lost his life as a result of injuries suffered on that fateful day in August, whilst Correa was left with life-threatening injuries and spent some time in a coma.  He remains with a brace on his leg while he goes through the rehabilitation and recovery processes.

The FIA felt that ‘no single specific cause but multiple contributory factors giving rise to the severity of the accident’, with Correa’s out of control car striking the almost stationary Hubert at 218 kilometres per hour, with a peak force of 81.8g on the Frenchman’s car.

The investigation cleared any wrongdoing from the drivers, with ‘no evidence that any driver failed to react appropriately in response to the yellow flag signal or to the circumstances on-track.’ 

Marshals attending the scene as well as race control and rescue services were also cleared, feeling they were arrived in good time and did what they needed to do in the extremely difficult situation.

In total, four cars were investigated, with Hubert’s Arden Motorsport car and Correa’s Sauber Junior Team by Charouz machine being joined by the two Trident cars of Guiliano Alesi and Ralph Boschung.  Alesi’s spin and Boschung’s avoidance of his team-mate sparked the chain reaction that ultimately ended in tragedy and heartbreak, but no blame was or should be placed on either driver.

Juan Manuel Correa was seriously injured in the accident at Spa – Credit: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images / FIA F2 Championship

Summary of the Findings

  • A chain of events resulted in a protracted and complex crash sequence involving four drivers, which ultimately led to a high-speed ‘T-Bone’ type impact between the cars of Juan Manuel Correa and Anthoine Hubert.
  • The dynamics of the car-to-car impact in terms of speed and trajectory were such that an extremely high level of energy was transferred and dissipated, translating into non-survivable trauma to Anthoine Hubert and very serious injuries to Juan Manuel Correa.
  • There was no single specific cause but multiple contributory factors giving rise to the severity of the accident were identified, following a detailed analysis of the various phases of the accident.
  • The investigation found no evidence that any driver failed to react appropriately in response to the yellow flag signal or to the circumstances on track.
  • The reaction of marshals and race control in deploying signalling and rescue services in relation to the accident is considered timely and good.

The full statement can be found on the FIA.com website, with the governing body of international motorsport continuing their push to make the sport much safer.

“Safety improvement is a continuous process, therefore conclusions drawn from this accident and others like it from around the world will be integrated into the ongoing work of the FIA to further develop motor sport safety,” concluded the statement.  

“In 2019 the FIA Safety department conducted investigations into 28 serious and fatal accidents related to circuit racing, supported by the ASN (National Sporting Authority) in each country.”

Anthoine Hubert was twice a winner in 2019 before tragically losing his life in Belgium – Credit: Joe Portlock / LAT Images / FIA F2 Championship

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