The FIA published the results of an investigation into the death of HubertFebruary 8, 2020
The FIA completed an investigation into the accident in the Formula 2 race in Belgium, which killed Antoine Hubert, and Juan Manuel Correa was seriously injured, and published the findings.
This work was done by the FIA Study Group under the leadership of Professor Gerard Sayyan, and its findings, endorsed by the Safety Commission, led by Sir Patrick Head, were presented at the World Motor Sports Council.
In the course of the investigation, the four cars involved in the incident were in the spotlight – No. 19, which was piloted by Antoine Hubert, No. 12 of Juan Manuel Correa, No. 20 Giuliano Alesi and No. 21 of Ralph Boschung.
The incident on lap 2 lasted 14.6 seconds and began with the fact that Giuliano Alesi lost control of his car at the exit of the 3rd turn (Eau Rouge). She skidded, she flew to the left side of the road, and then hit the back of the barrier, and then bounced to the track after the 4th turn (Raidillon).
During the investigation, it was highly likely that Alesi lost control of the car due to a drop in air pressure in the rear left tire.
After hitting his car on the barrier, debris scattered along the highway. Trying to avoid a collision with the Alesi machine and these debris, Ralph Boschung and Antoine Hubert shifted to the right, being outside the track in the departure zone of the 4th turn. Boschung and Hubert reacted to what was happening with the car number 20 before the yellow flags appeared, because at the time of the accident they were traveling in close proximity to each other. Marshals at the 5th post of the route (4th turn) showed yellow flags 1.8 seconds after the Alesi car hit the barrier.
Because of this maneuver, Boschung slowed more sharply than Hubert, who was trying to avoid a collision, moving even more to the right. Despite this, his car touched the back of the Boschung machine, losing the front wing and breaking through the rear right wheel of car No. 21.
Hubert lost control of his car, which continued to move at a speed of 262 km / h without a front wing in the direction of the barriers located in the 4th turn on the right side of the route at the exit of the departure zone. The impact occurred at an angle of 40 degrees at a speed of 216 km / h, while its peak value was equivalent to 33.7 g.
After the blow, when part of the energy was absorbed by the barrier, the car bounced off and continued to move, while rotating, because of which the left side of the chassis was facing approaching cars in the departure area of the 4th turn.
Meanwhile, Juan Manuel Correa was approaching the scene of the Alesi accident. His car was approximately on a racing trajectory closer to the right side of the track at the exit of the 4th turn, when it flew into the wreckage of car No. 20. This happened about 1.5 seconds after the yellow flags appeared, and as a result, the front suspension of the No. 12 car was damaged, and also it was left without a front wing, which caused Correa to lose control of the car. She shifted to the right, flew off the track, finding herself in the safety zone of the 4th turn, and moved along a trajectory that after 1.6 seconds led to a collision with Hubert’s car.
Correa’s car collided with it, the blow fell on the right side of car No. 19 at an angle of 86 degrees at a speed of 218 km / h, and at that moment Hubert’s car almost stopped. Peak impact values were equivalent to 65.1g (vehicle No. 12) and 81.8g (vehicle No. 19).
Due to the impact, Hubert’s car accelerated to 105.4 km / h and hit the barrier a second time, after which it flew back to the track.
Double yellow flags appeared 2.5 seconds after the collision of two cars, after which 2.7 seconds red flags were posted when car No. 19 stopped on the left side of the highway, and machine No. 12 also stopped after 2.6 seconds.
Doctors and rescuers responded to the incident 12 seconds after Alesi lost control of the car, immediately after the appearance of the double yellow flags and even before the complete stop of the car number 12. Hubert’s medical examination began 54 seconds after the appearance of the red flags.
At the 16th second after the appearance of the red flags, car No. 12 caught fire due to a fuel leak. The fire was extinguished by the marshal after 2 seconds, and a medical examination of Juan Manuel Correa was carried out 69 seconds after the appearance of red flags.
The rescue team that was involved in the evacuation appeared at the scene after 2 minutes.
Accordingly, the investigation reached the following conclusions:
- The sequence of events led to a protracted and complex series of collisions between four riders, which ultimately led to a high-speed collision when the front of the Juan-Manuel Correa crashed into the side of the car of Antoine Hubert;
- The dynamics of the collision of cars, as well as their speed and trajectory, turned out to be such that an extremely large energy was released, which, as a result of exposure and dispersion, led to the fatal injury of Antoine Hubert and very serious damage to Juan-Manuel Correa;
- The incident did not have a specific reason, but after a detailed analysis of the various stages of the incident, numerous factors were identified that exacerbated the severity of the incident;
- The investigation did not reveal any evidence that one of the riders did not respond appropriately to the yellow flags or the situation on the track;
- The reaction of the marshals and the race administration to the inclusion of warning signals and the arrival of rescue services at the scene of the accident is assessed as timely and good.
Safety improvement is a continuous process, therefore, the conclusions drawn from this and other incidents around the world will be used in the current work of the FIA to further develop safety in motorsport. In 2019, the FIA Security Department investigated 28 serious and fatal incidents that occurred on racetracks, with the support of the national sports federation of each country.
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