Pierre Gasly has unveiled a special Formula 1 helmet design he will wear at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix to pay tribute to his close friend Anthoine Hubert.

Hubert died as the result of injuries sustained in a violent high-speed crash during the Formula 2 feature race at last year’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

Gasly laid flowers at the scene of Hubert’s accident at the top of Raidillon during his track walk on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s race in Belgium, which takes place 12 months after the tragic events of last year.

The AlphaTauri driver’s helmet is a nod to Hubert’s own predominantly pink design and features a collection of images of the pair together.

Gasly lived with Hubert for many years as they forged their respective motorsport careers and the Frenchman admitted returning to Spa was difficult as he didn’t “want to believe it really happened.”

Speaking to Crash.net on Thursday, Gasly said dealing with the death of his friend was the “toughest part” of his turbulent 2019 season in which he had just been dropped by Red Bull.

“I have so many good memories,” Gasly added. “We lived together since the age of 13. So we were in the same sports school, in an old sort of castle with no hot water.

“It was a bit rough in style and then we were spending the whole day together, from breakfast till 10pm in the night. We were having the same classes and going to train together every night.

“We were racing together and we had our moments, we had a couple of clashes on track as well but I think we had the respect for each other. There was the competition every single day for everything we will do.

“I always wanted to beat him and same for him. I think I did beat him more than he beat me [laughs] but at the end of the day I just loved that the competition was always there, whether we were training or at school.

“He was a very smart guy and always had good marks, very intellectual, good knowledge and he was giving 100 percent of himself to everything. That’s something I always respected in him.”

SEE ALSO: F1 remembers lost star Hubert 12 months on from tragedy