Juan Manuel Correa, Sauber by Charouz, Spa-Francorchamps, 2019

FIA’s Hubert crash report “raises more questions than answers” – Correa

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In the round-up: Juan Manuel Correa, the Formula 2 driver who sustained serious leg injuries in the crash which claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert last year, raises questions over the FIA’s summary of its investigation into what happened.

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Comment of the day

FlyingLobster27 proposes an alternative to the current F1 superlicence points system:

Lay out a list of ‘tier-2’ single-seater championships (in my opinion only F2, IndyCar, Super Formula qualify): at least one feature race win (not due to a reverse grid) in those makes you eligible for F1.

Lay out a list of ‘tier-3’ championships (international F3, Indy Lights, Eurocup Formula Renault, Formula E until performance increases): at least a title at that level makes you eligible for F1.

Lay out a list of ‘tier-4’ championships from which you absolutely cannot make the jump to F1 (typically Formula 4 and lower).

Finally, the ‘unlisted’, all non single-seater series (prototypes, GT, touring cars, rally, motorcycling): discretionary, but you should have at least one title in a reasonably high-performing category with a reasonably international field, definitely backed up by F1 testing experience and some free practice benchmarking.

No particular length of validity providing the drivers are competing regularly. Drivers coming back from a lengthy break would have to fall into the ‘discretionary’ class.

Downside is, this is still a system that the FIA could have used, albeit less subtly, to favour its ladder and demolish the junior formula landscape. Talent-wise, it wouldn’t change much (Max Chilton, Yuji Ide and Ricardo Rosset met these criteria), but it would just make things more straight-forward. And it still does what the points system set out to do: to disqualify future Max Verstappens (and Jenson Buttons 15 years earlier) who are in a hurry to be yanked out of the junior categories.

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On this day in F1

Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull RB6 Launch, Jerez, 2010
Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull RB6 Launch, Jerez, 2010

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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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30 comments on “FIA’s Hubert crash report “raises more questions than answers” – Correa”

  1. Why the hell Brawn has to put its nose in what teams do? next will he criticize their silverware?
    His silliness of reversed grids and other signs show me if no one stops him he will go to be a tyrant.
    If he was just a TV commentator, journalist , that would be okay even if para-sport, but he has an official position.

    1. Yeah. Brawn has always cared about one thing only and that is lining his pockets. I can’t believe this cheat is still in F1 and Flavio isn’t.

      1. Why can’t I upvote this?

        1. AlexS at first I also wondered what’s the deal, but, when looking at how F1 can save costs (and help the stated FIA/Liberty/F1 goal of becoming climate neutral!), those motor-homes clearly aren’t essential to racing. Though the teams will probably argue they are important to get the sponsorship money in, I have to agree with him that given the improving/improved quality of facilities at tracks, that might not actually be the case any more.

          Paul Duggan – well, exactly for that reason, I expect: just upvoting isn’t very interesting in a discussion (other than popularity contest) – @darryn I have to say I would wish you had provided some more context to that.

          Because from what you write, and the fact that Brawn took the risk to go ahead with his own team/car he knew could win, and thus give the team itself, and the people in it, a future in F1, save jobs, motivation rather than cash out, after he helped build the legend of Schumacher at Ferrari, so I have to doubt your opinion, at the least.

          Especially when adding in Flavio, who clearly was a crafty manager for several drivers, and who gave Michael Schumacher a team where he could shine and develop, but also in doing that might have helped shape Schumacher as being cutthroat and willing to cheat on track (and maybe off track, but no proof of traction control and that sort of thing). As a team leader, it’s a mixed bag, taking 10 years after Schumacher to get his team back to that level with Alonso. He also definitely orchestrated the 2008 Singapore crash, and worked to cover it up, leading to Crashgate (maybe not directly for money, but for the team); Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out expect he is one reason Alonso tried to blackmail McLaren (he was his manager, right?) leading to Spygate, and clearly didn’t help Alonso get the team he needed at the right time there or afterwards, or we would have seen more than two WDC’s there – so, maybe not such a great manager either.

          Brawn at the moment seems a positive force, while Flavio, well, has been around a lot of bad things happening in the sport, and doesn’t have much good to offer from here on in, as far as I can see/read.

          1. Upvoting is good. Also I’m very sure that Darryn’s comment was heavy with sarcasm.

    2. you can’t deny those enormous motorhomes are a waste. If the organizers can arrange circuits to adapt their facilities to have hospitality units like those seen in flyaway races, why bother with those trucks? it’s one of those things that could easily be gone after some investment.

      I agree with Brawn. If they want to be eco, carrying those around Europe isn’t right… it’s not essential to racing.

      1. I agree @fer-no65.

        And even the argument that teams need them to raise sponsorship, I feel is weak. If no team had them they’d be on a level playing field, sponsors will still be given paddock access etc and wooed in other ways.

        It reminds me a little of the tabacco ban in that the companies benefitted from no longer having to pay to compete with their rivals.

        1. Teams don’t use them to raise sponsorship, exactly. They’re payback for the sponsors, who get to entertain guests in them.

  2. The FIA should take a cue from the aviation industry and make every crash report that they produce public. I’m actually surprised that isn’t the case already.

    1. Good point @paulk, the FIA still doesn’t seem to take itself quite serious enough, too often functioning like the gentleman’s club it started out as.

    2. @paulk I can see why the full WADB is not public-facing – the data involved is protected by GPDR personal data controls. Therefore anyone involved in FIA sport would have to approve of their personal details potentially being in the database. Granted, drivers wouldn’t be in the database to a level of detail exceeding the implied disclosure from participating (though legally they have to be allowed to opt out of being named in WADB), but it could be a problem for recruiting officials, especially marshals, if involuntary revelation of things like their names was to occur due to a minor incident. There’s enough trouble recruiting marshals as it is!

      The surprise, to me, is that there isn’t a public-facing anonymised/semi-anonymised summary version of major and interesting (the latter by FIA definition) accidents accessible to the public. Granted, it would probably be updated considerably later than the WADB because it would by definition be removing most of the information (most of the time, an honest, clear, logical and concise document of 2-3 pages would do). However, even a mini-database that lagged somewhat behind the “main” version and lacked a lot of the information would be helpful in aiding supporter understanding and disseminating information to participants in FIA-regulated series that might not have access to the WADB.

      1. The aviation database long predates GPDR, is worldwide (not based in a specific country) and exists because the FAA has enough power to continue to be exempt from things like the GPDR to the extent that it might otherwise have applied (as well as enough agreement from various stakeholders in air travel to be able to enforce that exemption). The FIA didn’t have the idea soon enough to get grandfathered into GPDR, is based in France for legal purposes and is still in the process of persuading people to be named in a worldwide safety database in the first place.

  3. Interesting tweet from Correa. Very measured, and thought through, likely professionally drafted (or at least vetted). I foresee legal entanglements for the FIA in the near future.

    The FIA might have their reasons for not making the entire report public (though I agree with @paulk that transparency is the best policy), but at the very least it should have been shared with him prior to the FIA statement going public.

    1. I would have liked to know what the fia recommends, they only make mention of it. At the time I didn’t think of the legal issues that might still be lurking. Legal stuff might also explain why fia’s statement points no fingers. Possibly Correas legal team is looking at all the legal missteps and nothing about the crash itself, bureaucracy.
      In hindsight the safety at that corner could be better, that said the fia probably didn’t break any of their own safety protocols. It would be interesting to hear the opinion of that former fia doctor whose name escapes me.

      1. It would be interesting to hear the opinion of that former fia doctor whose name escapes me.

        @peartree – Gary Hartstein?

  4. To the best of my knowledge, the only Gin Palace at every F1 race is the Paddock Club, which is run by FOM (F1) themselves. I suggest Ross Brawn makes a few test runs to see how well they can move that structure from circuit to circuit by rail, before he starts spending even more of the team’s money on the necessary equipment needed for the railways.

    I’ve a feeling Brawn might discover that railway stations with freight facilities are not always close enough to the circuits to make them financially viable when each circuit will need to supply enough local haulage transport over the weekend.

    1. As the promoter it’s FOM’s job to run a gin palace l, so the circus-goers can get oiled. The teams need to spend less money. They especially need to spend less on things that have nothing to do with what specs see on track on a Sunday. Brawn is doing his job.

    2. I have been lucky to have been 1 day at a paddock club.. Most of it is the paddock building at the circuit. They don’t build a big giant building.

      1. There you go. Ross Brawn once again telling the teams what to do, when his company isn’t playing by the same rules. The teams pay to get their sponsors and guests into the paddock, does he expect them to spend their time in the paddock club at even more expense?

        I’d not be surprised if the teams will believe it’s just another example of F1 attempting to take sponsors from the teams, as they’ve done in the past.

    3. Jon Bee I think Ross was implying that the teams shouldn’t have the motorhomes at all. At that point, neither rail nor any other form of transport is needed for them.

  5. Brawn’s intentions are honorable. If they plan to cut down on 1.125 million kilometres of extra diesel usage, then i am all for it. I just hope they find a quick and suitable solution to work around the complex world of F1 logistics .

  6. FlyingLobster27
    10th February 2020, 8:06

    Wow, thank you very much for the COTD, Keith!

    I feel compelled to add a couple of elements in light of other comments on the page.
    -Why I placed IndyCar in tier 2. @w-k and @scottie think IndyCar is closer to F3 due to Austin pace, but consider race duration. F2 feature races are 100 miles in length, while IndyCar races are usually at least twice that (200 miles at Austin, the Long Beach race is 10 miles longer than the Monaco GP, not to mention 300-500 miles on ovals). That’s got to be worthy of tier 2, and the same applies to Super Formula, where races are up to 90 minutes long.
    @gitanes and @leonardodicappucino raised the point that something also should be done to stop some drivers accessing F2. Well, this tier system can be dropped down a notch to do just that: race wins at tier 3 or titles at tier 4 would grant you eligibility for tier 2 (at least, for the sanctioning bodies that agree to abide). Would this have kept Runganathan out of F2, seeing this is a big concern for some? I’d say yes, considering his only race wins have come in BOSS GP, which is already, in the FIA’s system, “unlisted”.

  7. Before I make any comment about motor homes, I’d like a lot more information about them.

    I’d like to know if they also carry parts/equipment in the same vehicle or whether they’re a dedicated vehicle that’s purpose and load is only motor home?
    Do any employees reside in them during the race weekend or again is it just an entertainment area?
    What proportion of sponsorship negotiations, are successfully concluded in those motor homes during the European leg?
    What would the “actual” green saving be if you compare the use of all that diesel with the green costs of manufacturing (or importing) all of the requisite components to provide similar facilities to those provided at flyaway races? We should probably include waste/recycling in that as well as I’d assume the “built” ones get torn down after the race?

    I can see merit in what Brawn is suggesting, but I doubt it’s that cut and dried. If it was, maybe they should have put a cap on teams marketing spend as well for 2021 and beyond instead of leaving is unfettered.

    1. @dbradock Parts are carried in different vehicles – for perhaps the last 30 years, the motorhome has tended to be its own vehicle (or, more often, multiple vehicles).

      It is forbidden to reside in the motorhomes during the race weekend – only people breaking curfew can be in there once curfew starts, and only a limited number of people (10, I think, and none can have garage passes) are allowed in early so that staff breakfasts can start to be cooked before curfew ends.

      A lot of sponsorship negotiations are completed in the motorhomes during the European leg (and some in augmentory boats acting like secondary motorhomes at Monaco).

      Most of the 9 races could build extra facilities to substitute for the motorhomes – only Monaco, I think, would have problems with this, and as we’ve seen, teams tend to supplement with boats there anyway. If tracks are only used for F1 and only for a few years, it’s probably worse to build at the tracks, but for places like Silverstone where there are things happening all year and the F1 is likely to be there for the foreseeable future, the carbon would pay for itself fairly quickly. “Built” ones at permanent circuits tend to stay up all year, are taken down at temporary tracks, and I’m not sure what happens at the “semi-permanent” track at Albert Park.

  8. Juan, don’t play oblivious observer, YOU know exactly why this happened!

    And you should be grateful by the way. So maybe shut up and live your life?

  9. Nobel criticism by Brawn.
    But maybe he could achieve a lot more by just changing the calendar.
    Why not have all races at the same circuit. The teams don’t have to haul their motorhomes around and will have it available at all 22 (or more) races.
    I would organise the races in Melbourne, just so I can walk to my weekly race. And to get some excitement they can run the race one week clockwise, then counter-clockwise, and maybe a third free for all.
    Also with having 4 seasons in one day, they could run various races on a single day with different weather and suit every primetime around the globe.
    Fans from other countries could still go to their local circuit and watch the races on giant screens. The local organisers then only need to get a medium loud vehicle run in front of the crowd at a speed so you cannot recognise it and everybody will feel at home.
    If the also plant a few trees at Albert Park then it will be immediately carbon neutral.

  10. My only issue with the #COTD points / promotion scheme is that it still would have allowed Lance Stroll through. :)

  11. Number of races per year = __
    9 “motorhome races” + 15 “other races” = __

  12. So why are they trying to prevent more Max Verstappen-style scenarios again?

  13. Does Ross remember that those nine races of catering facilities are a significant source of funds for a lot of teams? Or that the teams would cheerfully take the equivalent of motorhomes to those other 15 circuits if they could find non-European sponsors willing to pay for this and were allowed?

    How much is Liberty willing to compensate teams for the loss of those facilities?

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