F2 driver Anthoine Hubert laid to rest in Chartres after fatal crash | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 10.09.2019
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F2 driver Anthoine Hubert laid to rest in Chartres after fatal crash

Family, friends, and fellow race drivers have gathered in France for the funeral of Anthoine Hubert. The 22-year-old rising star was good friends with several F1 racers, including Charles Leclerc.

The facade of the cathedral in Anthoine Hubert's hometown, Chartres, was bedecked with a giant portrait of the reigning F3 champion and probable future F1 driver on Tuesday. 

The 22-year-old Team BWT Arden driver, a member of Renault's young driver academy, was killed in a major accident on August 31 at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.

Frankreich Beisetzung Anthoine Hubert (Getty Images/AFP/J. F. Monier)

Hubert was killed during the F2 feature race at Spa on Saturday, August 31

As well as family and friends, many fellow racers attended the ceremony, including Italian Grand Prix winner Charles Leclerc, Hubert's former teammate and compatriot Pierre Gasly, German F2 rival Mick Schumacher, four-time world champion and Renault F1's non-executive director Alain Prost, and ex F1 star Jean Alesi and his son Giuliano, who walked away from the same lap 2 incident at Spa.

Read more:  Charles Leclerc dedicates Belgian Grand Prix win to Anthoine Hubert

Various iterations of Hubert's racing helmets were laid out on the seats of the guests of honor. 

Drivers' helmets are laid on chairs ahead of the funeral ceremony of late French racing driver Anthoine Hubert at Chartres' cathedral, on September 10, 2019. (Getty Images/AFP/J. F. Monier)

The cathedral was decked out with various reminders of Hubert's career cut short

Prost and Jean Todt, president of the FIA, motorsport's governing body, both paid tribute to Hubert in a ceremony that began around 2 p.m. local time. 

Hubert had talked not long before his death of the long chats and useful advice he had received from F1 legend Prost, as a promising member of Renault's stall of youngsters. The Renault team also issued an impassioned tribute on Twitter, saying that the youngster "became more than an Academy member, he was a friend, a brother and a mentor."

"Anthoine's charm was immense, but his smile belied his huge ambition and work ethic. He was a constant visitor to Enstone [the Renault F1 team's base in England] and Viry [Renault Sport Racing's French HQ], training in the gym, working with the Academy group, getting to know as much as he could about his craft. He wanted to learn and he wanted to get to know the people he hoped he would one day work even closer with. We too were looking forward to those days, but will never get the opportunity," the Renault team wrote. 

Formula 1 also issued its condolences, saying "Today we stand as one motorsport family and remember the life of Anthoine Hubert." 

Last year's Formula 3 champion, Hubert was in the midst of a highly impressive rookie season in F2, winning races in Monaco and France despite driving for a team that isn't typically among the front runners in the official young driver feeder series for F1. 

Hubert's death was the first caused during the course of an F1 weekend since fellow French driver Jules Bianchi's serious crash at Suzuka in Japan in 2014. Bianchi was comatose after the crash and died in July 2015.

Hubert hit the wall at one of the fastest points of the notorious Spa circuit, the flat-out Eau Rouge and Radillon corners. His car rebounded off the barriers towards the track and was then collected at high speed by Ecuadorean-American racer Juan Manuel Correa. Correa, 20, was also seriously injured in the crash. He is being treated at a specialist London clinic for acute respiratory failure, broken legs and spinal chord damage; he was placed in an induced coma last week as the respiratory complications emerged.

Portraits of late French racing driver Anthoine Hubert are displayed in Chartres' cathedral ahead of his funeral ceremony, on September 10, 2019. (Getty Images/AFP/J. F. Monier)

Hubert was expected to join an impressive generation of rising Francophone talents in F1, led by Monegasque driver and personal friend Charles Leclerc

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