Anthoine Hubert: Formula 1 pays tribute with minute’s silence before Belgian GP

Formula 1 held a minute’s silence before Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix in memory of Anthoine Hubert.

The Formula 2 driver, 22, died in a crash at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on Saturday.

F1 representatives stood around one of his helmets as a video honouring the French driver was played at the track.

Tributes continued during the race as lap 19 saw fans applauding in the grandstands – Hubert’s race number was 19.

And race winner Charles Leclerc immediately dedicated his victory to Hubert.

“This one is for Anthoine,” he said over team radio after crossing the line. “Feels good, but difficult to enjoy on a weekend like this.”

Earlier in the day, Hubert’s mother and brother joined drivers from F2 and Formula 3 to observe a minute’s silence before the F3 race.

On Sunday morning the F1 Twitter account posted: “Today we race. We do so with the heaviest of hearts, and we carry the memory of Anthoine throughout. Just like it was for Anthoine, racing is our passion and our dream. It defines us. So today we race for Anthoine. And today, and always, we honour him.”

Hubert suffered a huge impact from the car of American Juan Manuel Correa at about 170mph at the Raidillon swerves.

Correa is in intensive care, but his condition is stable, after surgery. The 20-year-old suffered fractures to both his legs and a “minor spinal injury” in the crash and was taken to hospital by helicopter.

Governing body the FIA will launch a full investigation into the accident which will analyse its causes and how the cars and safety features at the track behaved in the crash.

Hubert appears to have sustained two impacts – one with the barriers at the top of Raidillon, and another when his car was hit broadside by that of Correa, whose car then turned upside down and skidded along the track on its ‘halo’ head-protection device.

In the case of F1 driver Jules Bianchi, who suffered fatal head injuries in a crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, a report was produced about two months after his accident at Suzuka.

But there is no specific timeframe – the FIA safety department will take the time to study all relevant factors before publishing its report, which will then feed into the next steps in terms of any potential safety improvements that may emerge.