A Formula 2 driver who was driving only metres away from the incident that led to the death of Anthoine Hubert has paid tribute to the 22-year-old.
Frenchman Hubert was killed in a 170mph crash at the Belgian Grand Prix.
MP Motorsport driver Jordan King said “to be literally metres away from it is hard to put into words”.
“He’s definitely one of the good guys on the grid and he will be sorely missed by everybody and I’ll definitely miss racing against him,” he added.
“There’ve been a couple of races where we’ve finished pretty much alongside each other. He’s always had a great smile on his face and happy to shake your hand afterwards,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Stephen Nolan.
- Why the motorsport ‘family’ races on after a driver pays the ultimate price
King, 25, a former British Formula 3 champion who also races in IndyCar in the United States, added: “I spoke with him three, four hours before the race, and we were actually at the fanzone in Formula 1, and we raced with a couple of fans on the Playstation game, and we had quite a good race on the game, so that will probably stick in my memory for a long period of time as it’s so recent.”
He also remembered some of his races with him, saying: “I had a great race with him in France at his home grand prix, and had a great race with him in Barcelona as well, where we were wheel-to-wheel so, those real things will stick with you for a long time for sure.”
When asked about safety in motorsport, King said: “Racing now is the safest that it’s ever been, so in some instances that is amazing, and it’s meant we’re kind of numbed to the danger of the sport. Obviously we now have very few big accidents because of how safe the sport is, but when it happens it hits home harder.”
He added: “On the back of every ticket it says ‘motorsport can be dangerous’, so people do need to have a lot of respect for this sport because it’s not a walk in the park.”
Hubert’s death was confirmed by motorsport’s governing body the FIA soon after Saturday’s Formula 1 support race at the Belgian circuit.
He had suffered a huge impact from the car of American Juan Manuel Correa at the Raidillon swerves.
Correa was taken to Liege hospital by helicopter and is in intensive care, but his condition is stable after surgery.
The 20-year-old suffered fractures to both his legs and a “minor spinal injury” in the crash.
The race was stopped after the crash and cancelled within a few minutes when the potential seriousness of the accident became clear.
Formula 2 later announced that Sunday’s sprint race at Spa was cancelled “out of respect”, though the Formula 3 race will go ahead.
Hubert, who drove for the BWT Arden team, was lying eighth in the championship and had scored two wins this season, in Monaco and France.
He was also was part of Renault F1’s young driver programme.