Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Formula 1 will be "overshadowed for a long time” by the death of Anthoine Hubert during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Formula 2 racer Hubert was killed in a serious accident on the second lap of Saturday’s opening race of the weekend at Spa, sending shockwaves around the F1 paddock and wider motorsport community.

Following Sunday’s grand prix, Wolff paid tribute to the 22-year-old Frenchman.

“The whole race weekend and the sport is going to be overshadowed for a long time,” Wolff said.

“If a young man loses his life in a freak accident you cannot just continue with business as usual. We are all affected by it, certainly his family. I feel for his family, it must be the most painful experience that I can’t even imagine.

“And for his friends in the cars, certainly not an easy race. Among those is Charles, so he deserves to win and maybe the right man won at the right time.”

F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn described Hubert’s death as a “terrible price for our passion” of the sport, while praising the efforts of the rescue teams and medical services that worked on the scene of the accident.

“The tragedy that befell Anthoine Hubert in Saturday afternoon’s FIA Formula 2 feature race leaves one bereft and my thoughts are with Anthoine’s family and friends, with the Arden team and everyone involved in Formula 2,” said Brawn.

“I would especially pay tribute to the rescue teams and services. All of us who love and live motorsport, especially the drivers, know that there will be black days when a terrible price for our passion is sometimes paid.

“They know that risk is never far away and if that creates a sense of fear, it’s their courage, their love of speed, the need to race that helps them to overcome it. They don’t think that death is always round the corner.

“And then one day, unexpectedly, the shield of passion is ripped away and one of these young heroes is taken from us,” he added.

“But, after the shock of what has happened subsides, those left behind find the strength to get back in the cockpit, to line up on the grid and push to the limit from the first to the last lap, to prove they are the best and to feed the passion for competition that drives them.

“That’s exactly what happened on Sunday with the drivers in F3, Porsche Supercup and Formula 1. The tributes extended far beyond the Spa paddock, too, with shows of unity taking place at hundreds of motor sport events around the world.

“Every racer, in every series, deserves our utmost respect and thanks for the courage they have shown, especially at this time.”

 

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