Spa-Francorchamps mourns shock death of CEO Maillet

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In the round-up: Spa-Francorchamps, home of the Belgian Grand Prix, has confirmed the death of its CEO, Nathalie Maillet.

In brief

Spa circuit CEO Nathalie Maillet dead at 51

Maillet (pictured left in 2016 with RACB president François Cornelis), a racer in karts and then Fun Cup championships, went on to work in organising motorsports and became the CEO of Spa-Francorchamps circuit in 2016.

Local news has reported Maillet was found dead on Sunday morning, with some reports claiming she was murdered by her husband at their home in Luxembourg.

Spa-Francorchamps issued a statement from their chairman of the board, Melchior Wathelet, which confirmed Maillet’s passing.

“My thoughts are with Nathalie’s family, her parents, her loved ones and her teams,” reads the statement. “I know how much this news will upset our teams and I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the entire circuit team on behalf of the entire board.

“Today, we are losing a highly respected lady, a true leader who will be greatly missed. Nathalie had become the face of the circuit, she embodied the passion for racing that we all share.”

Vergne: Techeetah only quick enough for third this season

Two-time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne, whose Techeetah team has won the past three driver titles and past two teams’ championships, said their car’s pace this year was simply lacking compared to Mercedes and Jaguar.

“We finished third in the teams championship and I think, clearly, that’s where our position is,” explained Vergne, who had taken pole during the first Berlin round but then slid down the order during the race. “In qualifying yesterday I think we did a very good job, but our pace is not there. Yesterday, in the race, we fell back to where our pace is and today I tried to come back, but at the end it was a bit crazy cars, so I could have been finishing higher.

“But it’s what it is. It’s Formula E, the driving has to improve because with drivers crashing into everybody all the time, it’s becoming a nightmare. In any case, season was tough, a lot of drama, lows and highs – it was a bit of a rollercoaster. But I think we’re going to be working very hard next year to come back stronger. We know what to improve, we know what we need to be working on.”

Steiner: Mazepin pace improving relative to Schumacher

Gunther Steiner has said that he believes Nikita Mazepin is improving on pace, compared to team mate Mick Schumacher.

“I think it didn’t change a lot, but it is changing,” Steiner said. “He sometimes is getting closer to Mick.

“Like the race in Silverstone he was in front of Mick in the race. So I think he’s developing in that area quite a bit as well. But for sure that is what we want, two drivers at the same speed, at the end.”

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Comment of the day

Looking at the comparison between Aston Martin’s drivers, Balue throws back to what had looked like a truly dire start to the season for the team, struggling severely with car balance in Bahrain testing to come back to competitiveness.

From the worst possible start in testing, Vettel has adjusted well, and 2 podiums is quite something for a midfield car. I wouldn’t be surprised if he could pull another one out of the bag now that he’s getting more used to the car.

Stroll is underrated. Good rain and first lap skills means he can instantly feel the grip and that’s rare.

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On this day in motorsport

  • 40 years ago today Jacques Laffite won the Austrian Grand Prix for Ligier at the Osterreichring, ahead of pole-winner Rene Arnoux in his Renault

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 18 comments on “Spa-Francorchamps mourns shock death of CEO Maillet”

    1. LOL Stroll feeling the rain skills… clearly someone didn’t watch Hungary.

      1. @nanotech Balue is clearly refering to other wet weekends, Monza, Turkey etc.

        1. someone or something
          16th August 2021, 13:32

          Pro tip: You can make any short list look more impressive by adding “etc.” at the end after running out of examples.

      2. @nanotech Yeah Hungary was an outlier, but T1, L1 on a freshly rained track is hardly representative. Like @peartree says, Stroll has proven himself before.

        1. @balue

          Good rain and first lap skills means he can instantly feel the grip and that’s rare.

          So he was exactly poor at all of those …

          It’s good to see a Red Bull fanatic be so apologetic about Bottas’ incident in Hungary though.

          1. @f1osaurus eh? Red Bull fanatic? Apologetic about Bottas incident in Hungary? What are you talking about?

            A better and more fitting example to Stroll’s rain skills you could have come up with, was Hamilton at Imola where he slid off like a noob. I guess by yours and other’s reckoning here, he is generally no good in the rain?

            1. @balue Well you are saying it’s understandable that Bottas made a mistake since:

              T1, L1 on a freshly rained track is hardly representative

    2. Mazepin may have done better against Schumacher at Silverstone, but I think everyone knows Mazepin is quickly reaching the upper limits of his abilities while Schumacher has shown he has a much higher upper potential. I suspect some time next season, after they both get familiar with the new car, Schumacher will begin to exert even more dominance over Mazepin.

    3. So Mazepin is slowly improving and at some point in the future, will be at the standard of a rookie in their first year….?

      1. Two terds circling the toilet bowl with one getting a bit closer.

    4. Rest in Peace Maillet.
      Re Vergne: It was a close field and he knows it.
      Re Steiner: “Just a pay driver out of all other pay drivers”, but let’s see how the stats will be at the end of this season.
      Re Formula E: Darn, just missed watching the season finale…
      Re COTD: Somewhat agree.

    5. Very sad news about Maillet. A small clarification: this took place in the Belgian province of Luxembourg, not the country of Luxembourg.

      1. Yes indeed very sad news and thank you for the clarification.

    6. RIP. On a side note, I was never aware of her until yesterday.

      COTD: I share the same view.

    7. I am curious to see what Maillet’s “friend” looked like. Sorry for the loss of all involved. It’s a sad situation.

    8. It was awesome to see WRC cars at Spa but those news brought dark clouds over the weekend. R.I.P

    9. Not really cricket to shoot your wife & her lesbian lover dead.
      Then kill yourself too.

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