F1 Raceweek: Vettel says Hubert and Bianchi deaths are 'wake-up' calls for Formula One

By Sports Desk September 05, 2019

Sebastian Vettel admitted the death of Anthoine Hubert at Spa was a "wake-up" call and said Formula One safety must always be a higher priority than entertainment.

French driver Hubert lost his life in an incident involving Juan Manuel Correa and Giuliano Alesi during last Saturday's F2 feature race.

He was well known to F1 drivers, many of whom paid tribute to the 22-year-old, and the sport's governing body, the FIA, has launched an investigation into the crash.

Four-time world champion Vettel, 32, said on Thursday it was a cruel reminder of the dangers of motorsport, coming almost five years after the crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix that led to the death of Marussia driver Jules Bianchi.

Vettel said of Hubert's death: "It was, as far as I understand, a chain of happenings that led to the final accident.

"We all had our moment on Saturday, and on Sunday going to the race track and driving the race, but to some extent it's part of motorsport.

"It's dangerous, it's part of the thrill, but the last few years have been a wake-up with the passing of Jules and now Anthoine, so it shows there's still things, even if people think it's too safe and boring, there's still things we can do better and must improve and must work on.

"Because I'd rather have boring world championships until the end of ever and bring him back."

Vettel expects the FIA investigation to shed more light on what occurred, and also what can be done to further eliminate risks to drivers.

"What happened couldn't be any worse," said the German, who drives for Ferrari at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

"I think it would be examined in a very detailed way, which is I think correct and what everyone would expect.

"To draw any conclusions now is not right. We need a full picture of all elements.

"Obviously I'm a fan of holding races in Spa because it's a great track, it has a great history, a lot of its corners are very unique, but for sure after what happened we need to have a very close look, take some time to understand exactly what happened before drawing any conclusions."

Vettel's team-mate Charles Leclerc, who won last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix for his debut Formula One triumph, dedicated that success to Hubert, a long-time friend.

Speaking at Monza on Thursday, Leclerc said: "I think I was always aware it was a dangerous sport because at times [when] you're going at that speed it will always be dangerous.

"On the other hand, every time I'm going into the car I'm going with the same mindset and I think we're all trying to do that, even with what happened on Saturday which was extremely sad and has shocked all of us.

"It's a much safer sport than a long time ago. You're trying to be in your zone and you need to race as hard as you can to finish as high as you can. I've always been aware there are some risks, but it's still a shock when something like this happens."

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