Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, Spa-Francorchamps, 2019

Gasly: “I told Charles ‘Please win this race for Anthoine'”

2019 Belgian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Pierre Gasly described the Belgian Grand Prix as “the most emotional race I ever had” after the shock news his childhood friend Anthoine Hubert had been killed the day before at Spa.

“You are not ready at 22, 23 years old to live this kind of moment, to lose one of your best mates,” said Gasly after finishing ninth in today’s race.

“I’ve grown up with this guy since I was seven in karting. We have been room mates, we’ve lived in the same apartment for six years. We’ve been classmates, I have studied since I was 13 until 19 with him the same professor in a private school.

“I feel shock, I did not realise how it can go so fast. It’s just terrible. I’ve already planned to see all our friends we had with Anthoine tomorrow because none of us really understand and realise what happened yesterday and it’s just super sad.”

The race was won by Charles Leclerc, who was also friends with Gasly and Hubert when they were young.

“I told Charles before the race ‘please win this race for Anthoine’ because we started racing in the same year, Charles, Anthoine and myself. And actually Anthoine won the French cup in 2005.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“We raced together for so many years and we all knew each other. Between Jules [Bianchi] a couple of years ago, now Anthoine, I think it’s really terrible news for French motorsport. They were two great, amazing characters. It’s just really difficult to realise.”

Gasly admitted the crash had given him a new appreciation of the dangers of motor racing.

“Over the summer break I was talking about safety [with] people who are not drivers and they were like ‘F1 is so safe now, it’s completely different than it used to be before’. And I must say I agred with them because it’s not something you think about.

“When you are in the car, I feel so safe I feel like almost nothing can happen to us. But at these kind of speeds it just brings you back to reality that whatever happens at 200, 250, 300, you can do whatever you want, I think there well be always this high chance of death and that’s also something we accept as drivers.

“But unfortunately there was this thing that happened to remind everybody it’s a really dangerous sport. I’m just really sad that it was one of my closest friends in racing.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

8 comments on “Gasly: “I told Charles ‘Please win this race for Anthoine'””

  1. Not easy losing your childhood friend. I’m close with mine still and if I lost him, it would be extremely devastating to me.

  2. And Charles indeed granted that wish/request for him.

  3. Credit to everyone for having the mental strength to still go out there and race, but especially to Pierre and Charles who knew Anthoine for so so long and were so close with him. I can’t even imagine what that takes.

    1. According to interview even Ocon was a part of thr group. Though he was present as a reserve driver it would be hard for all of them to digest the loss.

  4. I didn’t realize they were this close. Very nice sentiments from both Gasly and Leclerc.

  5. These young guys are great. I’m so sad for Anthoine and for all his family and friends RIP.

  6. It isn’t easy losing people you love. These guys showed incredible strength of character to get into their cars on Sunday.

    As a parent I feel so awful for Anthoine’s parents. I looked my 3 year old son in the eyes when I was getting him ready for bed and tried to imagine myself in their position…i nearly burst into tears. They must be devastated.

  7. There’s a reason why we have those big triangular signs that say “WARNING! Motorsport can be dangerous”
    This is a perfect example of why Racing Drivers are unlike any other: They put their lives on the line for our entertainment, and that’s why it hurts so much when we lose one. We have lost a gladiator, a soldier on the battlefield
    Big congratulations to Leclerc for his maiden victory and also for his win in Monza

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.