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1 Sep, 2019 15:18

‘This is for Anthoine’: Emotional Leclerc dedicates first F1 victory to tragic racer Anthoine Hubert

‘This is for Anthoine’: Emotional Leclerc dedicates first F1 victory to tragic racer Anthoine Hubert

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc claimed his first F1 victory by holding off the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton at the Belgian Grand Prix before dedicating the victory to Anthoine Hubert, who died in a crash at the same venue on Saturday.

READ MORE: French Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert dies aged 22 in crash at Belgian Grand Prix 

Leclerc started from pole and came home less than a second ahead of championship leader Hamilton at the Spa-Francorchamps track, with Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas further back in third. 

After his victory – which at the age of 21 made him Ferrari’s youngest-ever F1 winner – Monaco racer Leclerc dedicated the win to Frenchman Hubert, who had died in a horror crash in an F2 race 24 hours earlier.

“My first victory in F1. This one is for Anthoine. It feels good, but difficult to enjoy on a weekend like this,” Leclerc said over the team radio on taking the checkered flag.

On stepping out of his car, he raised a finger to the sky and also motioned toward the name of Hubert written on the side of his car.

Leclerc had raced with the 22-year-old Frenchman in the lower ranks of motorsport, and had offered words of consolation on meeting Hubert’s mother before Sunday’s race.


Coming as it did in the wake of Hubert’s death, the F1 meeting at Spa had a mournful tone as drivers, teams and fans paid their respects, including by wearing black armbands.

Also on rt.com 'Devastating': Tributes paid to F2 driver Hubert after tragic death aged 22 in Belgian Grand Prix

BWT Arden driver Hubert was killed on Saturday after he hit the wall going round the Raidillon bend on the second lap at Spa, spinning into the path of Sauber Junior driver Juan Manuel Correa, who collided with him at around 170mph.

Both were attended to at the scene and then taken to hospital, although it was later announced Hubert had died of his injuries. Correa is reported to be in a stable condition in hospital.    

The death led to an outpouring of grief, as drivers and teams paid tribute to the young French star.