We come back home from the Belgian Grand Prix with a very sad story, the tragic death of Anthoine Hubert, the 22 year old Frenchman who lost his life in a terrible crash in Saturday’s Formula 2 race. And let us not forget Juan Manuel Correa, also involved in the second lap accident and currently in hospital with serious injuries.
Everyone was deeply shocked, partly because thanks to all the efforts made on the safety front in motor sport over the past decades, incidents like this are fortunately very rare. However, Hubert was part of a group of young French racers who had all grown up together, coming through karting and the junior formulae, so for our own Pierre Gasly and Belgian GP winner Charles Leclerc, it was a particularly difficult weekend as they had been friends for a very long time. All the drivers were deeply touched but they put their heads down to go back to business in the best possible way. Proving that racing drivers are a special breed, all competitors in Formula 3, Porsche Supercup and Formula 1, got back behind the wheel to race on Sunday. Pierre also had to spend the weekend managing a lot of close attention from the media, as this was his first race back with Toro Rosso.
Our weekend in Belgium got off to a tricky start over the first two days. With Daniil, we knew he would start at the back of the grid, because on his car only, we were upgrading to Honda’s Spec 4 Power Unit, so qualifying was less important. But on Saturday afternoon, our qualifying runs were spoilt with neither driver able to get a clear lap because of caution flags. But come Sunday, it was a much brighter picture, with Kvyat going from the back of the grid to seventh place and Gasly finishing two places behind his team-mate, so that we had both our drivers in the points. They both drove really well and had some good fights. It seemed every time you looked at the TV screens one of them was involved in a thrilling battle! Most importantly, eight points sees us increase our advantage over the sixth placed team in the Constructors’ classification. All this means that, what has been a very difficult weekend for the world of motor racing, ended on a positive note for our team, just as we are already preparing to leave the factory and make the short trip to Monza on the outskirts of Milan for our home race this Sunday, the Italian Grand Prix.