Two drivers hospitalised after six-car crash at Raidillon halts W Series qualifying

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Two drivers have been taken to hospital following a serious, six-car crash during today’s W Series qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps.

Ayla Agren and Beitske Visser have been taken to a nearby hospital for checks following the pile-up which occured at the Raidillon corner. Abbie Eaton, Belen Garcia, Fabienne Wohlwend and Sarah Moore were also involved and are undergoing medical checks at the track.

The crash occured as rain began to fall at the circuit and drivers appeared to lose control of cars as they climbed from Eau Rouge to Raidillon. Several of the spinning cars collided with each other, lifting Visser’s car above the barrier at the top of the hill. After it landed on the track it was struck by Wohlwend’s car and came to a rest on its side with much of its rear missing.

A statement issued by the championship said: “All drivers involved in the incident are undergoing medical assessment and two of the drivers – Ayla Agren and Beitske Visser – have been transferred to hospital for further checks.”

The series later confirmed Agren had been discharged. Visser has undergone a CT scan which revealed no injures, but is awaiting the outcome of an X-ray of a leg.

The session restarted around half an hour after the crash and was contested only by the 12 remaining drivers. Points leader Jamie Chadwick claimed pole position ahead of closest rival Alice Powell.

The crash is the latest in a series of incidents at the Raidillon corner. Formula 2 racer Anthoine Hubert died following a crash at the curve in 2019, and earlier this year a major crash during the Spa 24 Hours left several drivers with injuries, prompting Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum Ilott to call for changes at the corner.

Formula 3 racer Juan Manuel Correa, who suffered serious leg injuries in the collision with Hubert, is racing at the circuit for the first time since the crash this weekend.

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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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38 comments on “Two drivers hospitalised after six-car crash at Raidillon halts W Series qualifying”

  1. Hopefully there aren’t seriously injured.

  2. Ohh dear! Hope everyone is ok.

    I suspect that new bump that Hamilton talked about + damp circuit + the blind nature of Raidillon conspired together to make this happen.

  3. Seems everyone is okay, they showed the replay at the end of the session, the halo looked like it’s done it’s job once again. Unusual how everyone lost it in the exact same way at the same spot.

    1. Likely to have been rain or something else slippery on the track at just the wrong point @bernasaurus.

      Totally different types of car obviously, but a few weeks ago I was watching a CityCar Cup race at Donington Park just above the Old Hairpin. Someone had leaked some oil just at the braking zone, and it was almost comical to watch car after car lose it in the same place and glide helplessly into the runoff.

      Much slower speeds and actual gravel meant the scene was farcical rather than dangerous, but you get a sense of how easy it is to lose it when the surface just doesn’t have the grip you were expecting.

      1. Don’t kid yourself regarding “slower speeds”; a women racer was killed in a C1 a few weeks ago at Snetterton, turn one.

  4. Hope all ok and just precautionary checks.

    It about time the corner was made harder so the drivers go slower. Problem is it’s flat out for virtually all cars but there is still plenty of room for error as come over the crest.

    Move the entry to Eau Rouge right the second part further left the actual part called Radillion to the right and sharper before coming back on the straight – it will become a challenge again!

    1. IT WAS RAINING!!!!! The problem isn’t the track, it was the conditions at that time and the track is fine. Sheesh guys, it’s racing, there is inherent risk involved.

    2. The problem is not the corner, but the low amount of run off. Why they do not change that must be a Belgian thing.

      1. there’s was an article about it regarding how majestic the intervention would need to be to expand the runoff
        it will need so much more pressure before it happens. I’m not stating my view on this, just the facts

      2. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
        28th August 2021, 6:17

        I believe the topography of the area makes it difficult to add runoff without altering the corner. However there are a few changes on the cards for next year. Hope they don’t tinker with the Eau-Rouge-Raidillon sequence, fingers crossed.

  5. That was horrendous…. But thankfully,as it seems, all drivers are ok, without having serious/life threatening injuries.

    I have been quite vocal in the site regarding some circuits safety(mostly Sochi) as i really want the circuits to be as safe as possible. Spa is an awesome circuit to drive, but the circuit needs significant changes to it’s safety. It’s almost a no brainer that the whole Eau Rouge-Raidillion part needs a huge change in it’s runoff, something that is possible if the organizers and FIA have the will to do it.

    Blanchimont’s runoff is equally problematic and i really hope that the owners of Spa eventually act and change the circuit. Even if it takes 1 or 2 years to make it, after all the accidents that have happened in the past 5 years in the circuit, it’s a necessary change

    1. 100% agree. And it’s time to make these changes, because if not, it’s probably the end of the whole track.

      1. Well said… I just hope we have a safe rest of the weekend…

    2. Belgian and no brainer. Could be a Dutch joke about our neighbors.

  6. Similar to that crash in the karting a few weeks back, rain on slick tyres and unlucky timing, not the fault of the circuit layout however I think this might be the beginning of the end of this layout of Eau Rouge/Raidillon section. I know they’ve got plans to alter the run-off for next year but maybe now organisers are starting to realise that the cars are outgrowing the circuit and a layout change is required

  7. I like the older circuits with their challenging layouts and agree with the idea that mistakes should be punished, but I’m also uncomfortable with how many serious crashes are happening on this section of track. I don’t want them to tame the corner, but maybe the run off needs to be deeper, and the return of gravel up there maybe? I think they’re renewing the circuit soon so probably are addressing it. That said, I’m not sure there is a perfect solution but I think the option of doing nothing and waiting for the next fatal accident is not the right one.

    1. Chainbear Brilliant video a few years back after the Hubert accident Explaining why you can’t just add run-off for that section

    2. older circuits with their challenging layouts

      Unfortunately the cars don’t match that older style anymore. Neither do all the added asphalt run offs.

      Reference? See piquet f3 crash in Monza.

  8. After seeing the incident from a few available videos, I put the blame mostly on the car in this case, or maybe somewhat on the tires.
    In the wet conditions and the possibly reduced speeds in that section of track the Tatuus just didn’t produce enough downforce to push the cars to the track and then the accordion effect of reacting to the situation in front created the mess. I’m happy to hear the racers are ok

  9. It was a really strange crash. They all went off at the same place one after the other. There was no on-track contact or anything like that. Really strange.

    When that many cars go off on the same corner, you got to take a look at the corner. Maybe there is a drainage issue or a funny kerb. Weird.

    1. @napierrailton

      It can just be unexpected low grip, perhaps due to oil. Or it can be that subsequent drivers react to the crash, which causes them to crash themselves.

  10. someone or something
    27th August 2021, 18:20

    The footage is blood-chilling. Cars spiralling out of control, crashing into stationary cars, and even worse, into cars that have already suffered a major impact. Motorsport can breathe a big sigh of relief if no one was seriously injured. Fingers crossed!

  11. That is horrific. A day where the gods were on their side, thank goodness everyone was okay!
    Kinda was a much worse version of the Nurburgring in (think 2007) where like 6 drivers all went off at the same corner in the wet.
    As much as it’s a brilliant track and eau rouge is a huge challenge, is it safe? In literally the last few years there have been a number of bad bad accidents there in multiple categories

  12. This has been updated with further information from W Series on the condition of Agren and Visser.

  13. Lightning is striking in the same spot for quite a while. I wonder if they are thinking about changes to that complex before getting the license for motorcycle competitions

  14. Too many pileups in that section in the recent years, can’t be a coincidence.
    Changes needs to be made as soon as next season.

  15. Qualifying? One by one off into stationary cars? If this wasn’t a mass crash, why wasn’t the session red flag immediately?

    1. @balue It was immediately red flagged, for about 40 minutes.

      1. @hazelsouthwell So why did the drivers ignore the red flag and continue at speed?

        1. @balue They didn’t, they were all on qualifying laps at full throttle, within a few seconds of each other – there was no time to get flags out/react.

          The cars far enough behind to slow, did. But it was just the case that Moore was the first driver on a flying lap, with a train of others behind her.

  16. …suffered serious leg injuries in the collision with Anthoine Hubert

  17. I think the time has come for a major reprofile of Eau Rouge and Raidillon as this is becoming a frequent event, raise the compression point of Eau Rouge by say 5mts and lower the crest at Raidillon by 5mts but also move it back by 50mts so creating less of a rollercoaster profile to it.
    Todays crash was bad but the 6Hrs of Spa crash was horrendous, an engine block was ripped from one car and ended up on the tyre barrier 30 mts away. Something has to change.

  18. Driver update…

    Bietske Visser has been in good spirits and discussing the incident, but, is waiting for an X-ray on her leg.

    Ayla Argen has been released from hospital

    Both have had a CT Scan.

  19. Well that was pretty horrific. It reminds me of the rain catching everyone out at the start of the 2007 European grand prix, just slightly higher speed… all losing it at the same point so ending up at the same point. Tough to watch. Glad they’re all largely OK.

  20. I’m uncomfortable with the number of accidents in this area, but would hate to lose the sequence of bends from the calendar. I really hope they can find a way to either make the run off safer, or to slow the cars a little without hurting the flow of the track.

    Best wishes to those injured, I hope for a speedy return to their cars.

  21. Meh, the cars are as safe as ever, and by be some margin, so just get on with it.

    If you want to change this corner, then most other classic corners will be for the chop too. It will never end.

    Motorsport is dangerous. …but a lot less than it used to be!

  22. Horrible crash. Good to her everyone is ok.
    About the subsequent drivers crashing, I think it’s due to the track being wet and the drivers lifting off when seeing the accident and losing their cars.
    On Eau Rouge/Raidillon. I read somewhere that the layout has been changed many years ago and it was argued to go back to the old layout as it had become too easy now. Maybe that can be an option?
    What the run off is concerned, maybe look into more absorbent crash sctructures that prevent cars from bouncing back? Or maybe a patch of gravel can do the trick?

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