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Stewart: Shock and grief of Hubert's death new to current generation

  • Published on 03 Sep 2019 11:46
  • comments 8
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Sir Jackie Stewart believes that the pain of Anthoine Hubert's death is something fresh to the new generation of racing drivers and fans.

Hubert lost his life after he was involved in a horrific accident on Saturday at the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps during the Formula 2 Feature Race. 

The FIA is currently investigating the crash with the local Belgian authorities, while Juan Manuel Correa, who was also involved in the accident, is recovering from injuries to his legs and spine. 

Stewart, who campaigned for driver safety while he competed through what is often cited as F1's most dangerous period, believes that the new generation is still new to the shock of losing a driver through a crash

"In my view, there have been far too many incidents over the last 24 or 36 months because there has never been a penalty to the extent we saw this weekend," the three-time world champion told PA.

"We have seen wings broken, cars going up in air. It even happened on Sunday when Max Verstappen collided with Kimi Raikkonen on the first lap.

"The drivers might now be prepared to recognise that they will have to take fewer liberties because you should never start thinking you are bulletproof.

"The shock and grief that was very evident in Spa is something that is new to this generation. Suddenly, everybody is aware that my God, if we do the wrong thing here, there is going to be a disaster. There hadn't been a disaster for such a long time.

"It is not impossible for another one to happen. Sometimes they come along in threes. We have seen that with aircraft accidents. It shakes everybody up. You cannot think you are going to get off with it all the time. This could be a wake-up call."

In 2015, Jules Bianchi succumbed to injuries sustained at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, becoming the first F1 driver since Ayrton Senna to die at a Grand Prix weekend.

Stewart says he was with Senna's former teammate Alain Prost after the crash, admitting that it felt like they were "turning back the clock".

"I was with Alain just after the crash," Stewart said. "We spoke on the grid, too, and we were both very sad. It felt like 'play it again, Sam', and that we were turning back the clock.

"Things have moved on extremely well from my day where death was part and parcel of the business. If you didn't want to do it, if the kitchen was too hot, then you'd better get out.

"The number of drivers you see walk away from huge crashes are now ten-a-penny, and that is fantastic. But every now and then, the wrong accident occurs, and that is what happened here."

Replies (8)

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  • JuJuHound

    Posts: 221

    I remember this weekend in May 1994. We had a long holiday in Poland and I was not watching the race live being at our house in the woods at the lake. At the end of the day Polish comentator confirmed Ayrton Senna... is dead. I just could not believe it. And after all this years I still cannot believe it.
    I'm so happy Lewis is there. He reminds me of Ayrton so much however being older I see Senna was not a man without vices.

    • + 0
    • Sep 3 2019 - 12:37
    • xoya

      Posts: 527

      Is there such a thing as a man without a vice?

      • + 0
      • Sep 3 2019 - 14:07
    • JuJuHound

      Posts: 221

      The President of United States, Mr Donald Trump !! :D

      • + 0
      • Sep 3 2019 - 14:09
    • JuJuHound

      Posts: 221

      I was thinking about his action in Japan 1990, his ruthless way of driving. He was bringing some rude actions on the track that have never been around before in that scale. Schumi and Max are continuators. They are/will be succesful thanks to that but some strange action will be remembered.

      • + 0
      • Sep 3 2019 - 14:12
  • He's obviously making a veiled reference to Crashtappen. He's pushed his luck so far. That crash with Ricciardio in Baku could have ended much worse for the two of them, and crashing into another car in the pitlane for f**k's sake! That could have ended in scores of injuries to all the unprotected bystanders in the pits, and people act like it was nothing and some even give him a 10 drivers rating to boot. He's had what 3 clean races this season when he didn't hit somebody? Granted several of them were marked down to racing incidents, most of that contact was unnecessary and just outright sloppy. The last few races before the break it looked like he was cleaning up his act and then lap 1 at Spa back to his old ways.

    • + 0
    • Sep 3 2019 - 18:44
  • f1ski

    Posts: 579

    I actually felt that Lewis or Max would be involved in a bad accident this past weekend because of the flat out nature of sections of the track and how close race performance has been and someone would take unnecessary risk

    • + 0
    • Sep 3 2019 - 19:17
    • Well, you weren't completely wrong. But fortunately it just resulted in a retired RBH.

      • + 0
      • Sep 3 2019 - 20:21
  • Nothing has changed in terms of the sport becoming more dangerous. It's just some recency bias. The Jules Bianchi death was largely down to two things (1) Jules negligence and (2) The tractor being on track without a safety car or VSC. We fixed the latter.

    Last weeks accident was one of those awful situations that is nearly unavoidable. It was a racing incident. No negligence, no failures of equipment. Hardly any kind of equipment that would have prevented it.

    I hope that this incident teaches valuable lessons about respect and restraint to drivers, but I hope it doesn't create another "Halo craze" looking for anything that makes cars safer, even if it meant polluting the DNA of the sport

    • + 0
    • Sep 4 2019 - 03:25

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