Formula 2 has announced it has permanently retired the use of car number 19 in the championship in memory of the late Anthoine Hubert.

The 22-year-old Frenchman was killed in a high-speed crash during the F2 feature race at last year’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

Hubert, the reigning GP3 champion, was competing for Arden at the time of his accident with the car number 19, which was removed from the entry list for the remainder of the 2019 campaign after his death.

Neither number 18 or 19 have featured on the grid this year with F2 opting not to use the number for the season.

The championship has also confirmed that a minute of silence will be observed on the starting grid ahead of Saturday’s feature race, while F1 will also hold a minute of silence ahead of the grand prix.

F2 has also created a special logo incorporating Hubert’s initials and an element of his helmet design that will feature on all 22 cars this weekend in Belgium.

“Nearly one year on from the tragic passing of Anthoine Hubert at Spa, Formula 2 officially confirms that the number 19 will no longer be used in the Championship,” an F2 statement rwad.

“19 will forever be Anthoine’s, in memory of the late Frenchman, whose star still shines brightly over our paddock.

“This weekend, Formula 2 will make an emotional return to Belgium, racing there for the first time since the heart-breaking accident on August 31, last year. To honour Anthoine, a logo has been specifically created using his initials, F2 racing number, and a key element of his helmet design – a star.

“This logo will appear in all F2 and Formula 3 communications to celebrate Anthoine’s formidable achievements and his unique character. In a show of unity, teams from Formula 1, F2 and F3 will display this logo on their cars throughout the weekend, showing that Anthoine will always be part of our racing family.

“A minute of silence will be observed on the starting grid ahead of Saturday’s Feature Race, as the F2 family remembers Anthoine and shows his family and loved ones our unwavering support. On Sunday, F1 will also hold a minute of silence ahead of the Grand Prix, with many of Anthoine’s friends keeping his memory close to their hearts.

“This weekend, and always, we will race for Anthoine. You can join us in honouring our friend by using #AH19 all week long.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc said returning to Spa 12 months on from the tragedy will be “difficult”, while Hubert’s fellow close friend Pierre Gasly added it would be a “sad moment” going back to the venue.

 

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