Anthoine Hubert, F2, 2019

Some fans don’t appreciate danger of racing, Hamilton warns after Hubert’s death

Formula 2

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Lewis Hamilton has reacted to the death of Anthoine Hubert in a Formula 2 race today by warning some people do not appreciate the dangers of motor sport.

Hamilton said Hubert’s death, which was confirmed by the FIA earlier today, was “devastating”. Hubert was involved in a high-speed collision with Juan Manuel Correa at Raidillon on the second lap of today’s race. Correa’s condition has been described by the FIA as “stable”.

“God rest your soul Anthoine,” Hamilton added in a post on social media. “My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family today.”

Hamilton said the risks of motorsport need to be more widely appreciated.

“If a single one of you watching and enjoying this sport think for a second what we do is safe [you’re] hugely mistaken,” he said.

“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. 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.”

Many others in the motor sport world have also paid tribute to Hubert. A selection of their tributes will be published here shortly.

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    73 comments on “Some fans don’t appreciate danger of racing, Hamilton warns after Hubert’s death”

    1. I hope we will be using this comment thread to honour Hubert’s memories and grieve for his untimely passing.

    2. I don’t really know what to say..
      Repose-toi en paix Anthoine. May we give you an excellent show tomorrow, as was for Jules in Hungary 2015.

    3. A horrible day – the motorsport community has lost a great racer, RIP.

      Hamilton is right, motor racing is a dangerous sport no matter how much safety is put in place. There’s been a horrible trend recently of fans at the track celebrating in F1 when a rival crashes ( like Hamilton today), hopefully the incident today will make those fans realise how wrong they are to do this

      1. Tbh… the fans don’t cheer for Hamilton to get hurt, they obviously cheer cause other drivers will have better odds, there’s a real difference there. No fan will ‘celebrate’ knowing something serious has happened.

        It’s a sad day for racing, though the Halo wouldn’t have helped a single bit here, it will silence the discussion about safety precautions.

      2. Unfortunately not only the fans but the media as well… how many times has someone publicly wished for a crash because they’re tired of the same team winning or to make the racing less boring. People need to stop trivializing the work of the drivers and teams and racing itself.

    4. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      31st August 2019, 19:36

      Rest in peace Anthoine Hubert

      Followed him since European F3
      Kind of surreal to see him climb through the ranks, learn and grow, just for it to end like this

    5. I am at a loss to understand why Hamilton feels the need to wag his finger at fans, especially using this incident. The rest of his tribute is as eloquent as he usually is, save for this bit.

      (sorry @praxis, I had to put that out there!)

      1. Did you not hear the imbeciles who cheered when he crashed today? Exactly why this was a correct and timely statement from the world champ.

      2. @phylyp
        Did you not hear the clowns who cheered when he crashed today? Exactly why this was a correct and timely statement from the world champ.

        1. @megatron
          Maybe the cheers when he crashes and the boos on the podiums doesnt actually have anything with the crash itself or the podium to do?

          1. Elaborate further please- how does cheering a crash have “nothing to do with the crash”? On that note, where you one of the people involved in the mindless act of cheering an F1 driver going into the barriers?

            1. @blazzz – I think the point @rethla is making is that such behaviour is more often targeted at a driver, and such “fans” grab any such opportunity to vocalize their emotion.

            2. @blazzz
              They arent cheering the crash they are cheering Hamiltons missfortune, this is a sport you know… And no i have never cheered a crash, mostly because im not emotional and rarely cheer/boos anything.

            3. @blazzz

              Another one who’s never been to a race.

              Fans cheer almost like an ownership thing. They have been standing there all day and it’s kind of a celebration something spectacular or different happened on their corner.
              Trust me, if Hamilton had got going again he would have received a bigger cheer and clapping. But you’ve probably seen that too on TV but doesnt fit your agenda.

            4. @bigjoe

              You would be wise not to make assumptions that make you look silly. I have in fact been to a few F1 races and have never experienced that sort of behaviour before. The only time I have experienced that sort of conduct is at football matches, but let’s be honest, football fans have a certain reputation.

              But you’ve probably seen that too on TV but doesnt fit your agenda.

              Oh dear. And what agenda would that be? Is this the best level of debate you can offer? Christ.

            5. @blazzz I noticed you avoided this part.

              Fans cheer almost like an ownership thing. They have been standing there all day and it’s kind of a celebration something spectacular or different happened on their corner.

              Stop assuming malicious intent. The fans like action but don’t like people actually being injured. They cheer when a driver gets out of their crashed car inter their own power.

        2. @megatron – that’s not going to change the minds of fans with such a poor mindset.

          1. It won’t but nevertheless Hamilton is right.

        3. @megatron @blazzz The viewers like to see crashes, but not when the drivers get hurt or killed. Otherwise they’re be cheering as the ambulances arrived.

          Get off your high horse.

          1. I didn’t hear those same clowns cheering when verstappen crashed into the wall today. Care to get off your high horse and explain that?

            1. @megatron Yeah they were the exact same people. I know this because like you, I am a mind reader.

        4. The Hamilton crash happened just passed the Max Verstappen stand. The Dutch fans were cheering every replay of it. But tbf, this was after they knew Hamilton was ok.

          I think it’s in part due to the rather disrespectful treatment Hamilton get’s in the Dutch press. Whenever he wins, it’s due to his car or fresh tires and basically everybody could have done what he did. It’s still more respectful than how they talk about most other drivers, though. But whenever Max manages so much as putting his shoes on correctly, it’s on the front page and he’s the best thing since the invention of sliced bread. It’s horrible.

          1. whenever Max manages so much as putting his shoes on correctly, it’s on the front page and he’s the best thing since the invention of sliced bread.

            @jeffreyj – thanks for the chuckle :)

          2. @jeffreyj

            So just like the UK media then but in reverse.

            ‘Hamilton stunning pole’ versus ‘Ferrari on pole’ (when Vettel has a produced an equally stunning pole)

            1. No no, only Lewis can do stunning poles. The others are boring poles.
              But the most UK fans seem to have missed Mansell mania.

        5. @megatron
          fans always cheer and clap when a car goes off in ‘their’ zone. At least we know youve never attended a race. It’s a vibe you pick up after standing there 8 hours a day

          1. It’s in bad taste. Period.

            1. Only if you think what happened yesterday is related.
              99,99% of the crashes are entertaining and every “look back” is filled with them.

          2. I been to plenty of races you jack off, I didn’t hear the Dutch clowns cheering when verstappen crashed today, was he not in their “zone”? Your stupidity is incredible.

            1. “Verstappen fans bad!”

            2. They cheered when he got out of the car, like all fans do when they see a driver emerge from a crash under his own power @megatron

        6. Cheering when racer crashes is not just restricted to F1 almost all track events there is a group of clowns who will cheer when racer crashes.

      3. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
        31st August 2019, 19:59

        I think it’s a reply to the increasing feeling that they are here to “entertain” and that the “show” is the most important. This is dangerous stuff and it will never be 100% safe, so we should all respect that.

      4. @phylyp,
        No need to be sorry. Your observation has its merits. In fact, both side of the argument does.

        But at the immediate aftermath of such tragedy, we ought to take a pause.

      5. @phylyp, there does seem to be a sector of the fan base that has derided motorsport for being “too safe” and “too sanitised”, and thinks it very easy to lob abuse and harassment for those who might want to call for improvements in safety.

        There is a certain tragic irony that, just a few days ago, Motorsport Magazine published an article about the fact that the 1969 Belgian Grand Prix was cancelled because the drivers then were complaining about safety, and about the vicious abuse that was directed towards the drivers then.

        There were complaints about the drivers being “too soft” and “lacking guts” for daring to suggest that better safety measures should be brought in – and we still have people now cursing Jackie Stewart for pushing for improvements in circuit safety then, complaining that the circuits “lack character” today because he insisted on things such as properly secured Armco barriers.

        Some of it does seem to come down to that physical separation – because it becomes so much easier to hurl abuse at drivers for being “cowards” and “too soft” when you are not the one who will suffer the consequences of something going wrong.

        1. @passingisoverrated and anon – I agree with both your statements. My initial comment was that a tribute is not the place to push such a point forward, no matter how valid said point is. Let’s just stick to honouring the fallen individual in the tribute, is all I ask.

          Hamilton can (and likely should) follow up a few days later with a broader statement using this instance as an example.

          As an example of what would be a more powerful way of getting that viewpoint across, I would point to the special that Martin Brundle did on Sky roughly a week after Bianchi’s incident.

          1. @phylyp
            What a time to be alive, when a man is not pleased with what another man says and when he says it. Esp when said statement is very crucial and straight to the point. Imagine if say, Bottas or any other driver made such statement, I wonder if you woulda reacted the same way.

            1. Esp when said statement is very crucial

              @lums – How is his statement “crucial”? It has no direct bearing on today’s tragedy. Fans don’t influence the outcome of an accident, neither do they shape safety regulations.

              Imagine if say, Bottas or any other driver made such statement, I wonder if you woulda reacted the same way.

              It might surprise you, but I would have.

              But you raise a good point, because there was something in Hamilton’s tribute that Keith found worthy of pulling out into a separate article with a suitable title, which is why this caught my eye. I have not read through every tribute to offer an opinion.

      6. @phylyp It’s not just fans who need to hear this, journalists and former drivers too. In the BBC podcast after the German GP all the presenters were enthusing about how good it was cars were going off track and crashing in a big way because of the resurfacing, ‘it’s what we want to see.’ I remember thinking they were all assuming it was safe now to crash at high speed, no risk involved. But clearly there is.

        1. @david-br – thank you for sharing that. Wow, I have no words for that, I’d have expected that the presenters would have a better understanding of the risks associated with motorsport. And if not that, at least not have an attitude of “crashes add excitement”.

          1. @phylyp

            Stop this right now.
            Back when the politically correct BBC were showing races, there was a Monaco race with a lot of crashes. All of these and only these were used by the BBC to advertise for their next race coverage. Just a video clip of crashes to get viewers excited about the next race.

            1. Which is sad, because wheel-banging action, overtakes and attempted overtakes are probably better showcases for racing.

          2. @phylyp I don’t mean to criticize them as such. It just struck me that even former drivers have been lulled into thinking its safe, possibly because of some of the spectacular collisions and airborne crashes we’ve seen in which drivers have emerged more or less unscathed. But there are always going to be some circumstances, however rare, in which no amount of protection will help. I don’t know why, I already had a bad feeling after Hamilton’s crash.

            1. @david-br, it’s not the first time that such an attitude has permeated the world of motorsport though.

              There is, for example, the time that the journalist Joe Saward wrote an article, just before the start of the 1994 season, which proved to be profoundly prophetic when he commented that he had heard too many suggest that the sport was now “safe enough”, or even “too safe and sanitised” as, in the wake of several serious accidents where the drivers had emerged from their cars uninjured or with minor injuries, people within the sport had come to believe that they’d now produced cars that were so safe that drivers would never be seriously injured again. To him, he felt that attitude was storing up trouble for the future and that complacency was inevitably going to end in tragedy – as, ultimately, was the case that season.

              Over time, we have seen such attitudes develop in the sport again, primarily for the same reason – as we’d had a number of drivers have major crashes where they emerged relatively unscathed, and the more serious accidents have become a distant memory, the complacency has began to creep back in. It is, sadly, not just specific to motorsport where people have grown lazy and complacent, and have assumed that, having solved what caused that last problem, nothing will go wrong again – right up to the point where something does go badly wrong.

      7. Just when you thought this forum was finally past the days when such comments were routine, just when you thought we were all mature and responsible fans, someone like @phylyp pops up with a comment like this one.

      8. @phylyp, I can’t deny that I had the same initial reaction, but IMO it’s too soon (maybe even irrelevant) to have these discussions.

        Maybe you are doing the same as the guy you are questioning by using a sacred moment to raise another point (and maybe I’m doing it now as well).

        1. PS I don’t think @keithcollantine should have elevated this reaction in a separate article (so soon).

        2. It’s probably a good time to remember that everyone deals with grief in a different way and maybe Hamilton, phylp and yourself are at a stage in the process where it’s acceptable to talk about the incident in this way. So long as others who aren’t ready don’t have these discussions thrust on them, then it’s all good. Grief (and if that’s not the appropriate word, sorry, 3rd language) is a chemical process, criticising people for being in a different part of the process is as pointless as criticising someone for the size of their nose.

          1. superb comment,WJ.thx

    6. Especially when these Max fans where cheering when Lewis crashed, they are hands down the worst supporters at the moment. They don’t care about F1, only about Max

      1. Simply have to agree. That said, forgive my prejudices, however some of those Verstappen fans seem to me to be jobbers who are up to their eyeballs on booze and just can’t be taken seriously.

      2. Why Max fans and not F1 fans…? It’s Belgium, among the 80.000 people crowd about a quarter are Dutch.
        I remember the Canada crowd boo-ing Lewis on stage, it happened also in Monza and it it’s just a crowds reaction to Lewis misfortune, not to see him get hurt.

        I’ve seen more reactions like this, and I feel it’s tasteless to use this as a frame of reference in Hubert’s crash….

      3. @noname

        Max fans might be different in their mobs, but every crash I’ve seen live, the crowd kind of celebrates it happened on ‘their’ corner. This is a real vibe and anyone else who’s witnessed it will know when the cars get going again, whoever it is gets a bigger cheer in the way of applause.
        When Schumacher broke his leg, the crowd were doing exactly the same, but pretty soon there was a wave of concern described by several people who were there, whilst Schumacher armchair fans were online making accusations of ‘hooligan fans’ even back in those days.

    7. Watched the videos and it was a horrible crash. He was so unlucky to be collected by the car behind at such a high speed. The feared Eau Rouge might need to be modified or the run off areas around it. The exit of the corner is blind and at very high speed. I think K Mag crashed there few years back and that was a huge crash too. And with upcoming ground effect cars, such corners might become even more dangerous.
      Rip Anthoine

    8. All the safety improvements have led to the situation where driver can well spend two decades in motorsport without suffering any notable injury, but at the same time the risk of death is much higher than elsewhere.

      1. “but at the same time the risk of death is much higher than elsewhere

        Yes. Threading the needle between 2 stone walls @ 195 on a motorcycle on some little island in the Irish Sea is much safer.

    9. Drivers accept the danger and possible death as soon as they get in a racecar or on a race bike. Nobody forces them.

        1. Everyone who is shocked at it happening?
          Cars smaking in to each other at full speed has been long comming and there has been multiple near misses lately. Even so people are going “there must be something wrong with Raidillon or the car or the run offs”.

          1. @rethla Sure, I agree, I just meant that nobody ever said the drivers were forced to take these risks. Clearly they assume them as in any other extreme sport. I just don’t see how it’s relevant to the Hamilton’s comments.

            1. @david-br, well, there was an interesting piece by Mat Oxley where he has talked about how, in the world of MotoGP, often the riders do feel under pressure to perform and to get onto the bike, even when they might not be in the best condition, because they feel indebted to the team and do feel under pressure to race.

              In that particular case, he was talking about the issue of mental health, and noting that he has frequently seen riders in MotoGP, as well as in the Moto2 and Moto3 junior categories, suffering from chronic depression and mental illness coming from the pressure they feel they are under.

              It gives, though, an idea of the pressure that riders do come under from their teams to ride, even when they probably aren’t really fit to race, as there is a mentality in MotoGP that “you ride through the pain and keep on going”, even if you really shouldn’t be on the bike.

              There was the recent case of Danilo Petrucci in 2016, where he crashed heavily during a practise session and started exhibiting clear signs of a major concussion injury – severe mental confusion and problems with memory loss were just some of the problems he was reporting – and yet he continued to race, where he ended up crashing with another rider.

              There were medical professionals from other motorcycle racing series, such as the Isle of Man TT, who stated that, if Petrucci had reported those injuries to them, they would have stopped him racing because he had quite clearly suffered from a serious head injury. In MotoGP, however, there does seem to be that pressure to race, both from the teams and from the series organisers, and it is hard for a rider to say no.

            2. Drivers/riders can suffer depression just from not having the same buzz all the time. Going from such highs to lows. It’s quite complex. But overall you find people seeking thrills to combat these mental problems. Many people also put too much pressure on themselves.

    10. Hamilton also said ‘some people in the sport‘ . So unless people in the sport are cheering at crashes, then most of the comments here having a go at ‘hooligan fans’ are missing the point.
      Part of Hamilton’s reaction would have been out of emotion, and perhaps for a moment he felt vulnerable and then not appreciated enough for the risks he takes.

      Also you could look at it another way if you want to be so negative. Why does Toto Wolff bang his fists on the desk when a Mercedes leaves the track and not immediately show a caring side like posters are asking fans to do ?

    11. Another one.
      When Kubica’s engine blew up and he walked off the track. The fans were clapping him and he was waving back. Did the ‘idiot’ fans think he blew the engine on purpose for entertainment? why would you clap that? There had certainly been nothing to applaud for his driving.

    12. Another one.
      When Kubica’s engine blew up and he walked off the track. The fans were clapping him and he was waving back. Did the ‘idi@t’ fans think he blew the engine on purpose for entertainment? why would you clap that? There had certainly been nothing to applaud for his driving.

      1. “There had certainly been nothing to applaud for his driving”

        And everything to applaud about a man stepping out of a substandard F1 car and waving to them with an arm that several years ago was at risk of being removed, let alone being able to use or even think about getting in a F1 car again.

        1. They do it to every driver. Why would they clap a driver who’s in the gravel?

          1. I see that went right over your head.

    13. R.I.P Anthoine Hubert, it is a sad sad day for motor sport the world around.
      I really don’t think anyone cheers at, or for the accident,
      Quite often it is a just vocal expression & pointing towards the scene, to bring your friends attention (those around you) that something has happened in that particular part of the track, as everything happens so really fast track-side & is quite often so loud, that a whoop & thrusting the arm towards the incident is the quickest way to get your friends attention towards the incident.
      As mentioned above, I have never seen anyone cheer at the arrival of the medics. It is always a hushed and somber moment, when the full reality of the incident is acknowledged …. Life / Sport in itself can be very dangerous. This week in Australia we lost two lovely female jockeys in horse racing falls. Life can be so fleeting. RIP Anthoine Hubert. Lest we forget.

      1. There are fan recordings of the accident. Nobody cheered, everyone knew this was serious.
        Nothing to compare with a crashing driver who makes a stupid mistake and hits the tyres.

    14. Drivers accept the danger and possible death as soon as they get in a racecar or on a race bike. Nobody forces them.

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