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Spa 'certain' to install gravel traps at Raidillon

  • Published on 04 Sep 2019 15:16
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

The Circuit Spa-Francorchamps is hoping to sign off plans later this year to install gravel traps at Raidillon.

The matter has received new attention following the major collision at the circuit on Saturday as Anthoine Hubert lost his life in a collision with Juan Manuel Correa, who remains in hospital with injuries.

Plans were already in place to install gravel traps at the Raidillon corner for 2022, when the Belgian circuit will host the Spa 24 Hours FIM Endurance World Championship motorcycle race.

An FIA investigation is already underway to determine the cause of the crash, with the Belgian authorities involved in the probe.

"The circuit has always worked with the FIA to improve safety. We have to await its report and analyse the exact causes of the accident," Nathalie Maillet, CEO of Spa-Francorchamps, told Belgium's Belga.

"We are working towards a FIM Grade C licence. We are still in discussion with the FIA and FIM about the homologation of the circuit and work is planned on the Raidillon for the Spa 24 Hours for bikes, which will take place in 2022.

"The run-off areas will be expanded and carefully designed to avoid frontal impacts. We're not planning to modify the actual layout of the Raidillon. But it's certain that we will install gravel traps. The regulations for bikes are more strict."

Maillet added that the crash last Saturday doesn't but Spa's future on the F1 calendar in danger, and that any changes to accommodate the bikes will be positive for cars.

"The fact that the circuit will conform to bikes will have a positive effect on cars," Maillet said. "Discussions are still ongoing about the exact location of the gravel traps, their depth and whether they will have to cover the full length of the corner or not.

"We will try to finalise everything by the end of the year so we can apply for the urban planning permits.

"This accident does not put in doubt the future of Formula 1 at Spa-Francorchamps. What happened is a racing incident. Of course, we are all saddened by what happened. We have to continue developing the circuit. We will also continue to develop the extraction centre."

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