FIA Formula Two has announced that car number 19 will be permanently retired in honour of Anthoine Hubert nearly a year on from his tragic passing at Spa Francorchamps.
In a short statement, F2 said; ’19 will forever be Anthoine’s, in memory of the late Frenchman, whose star still shines brightly over our paddock.
This announcement comes nearly a year since Hubert was tragically killed in an accident during last year’s Belgian Feature Race after sustaining fatal injuries in a collision with Charouz’s Juan Manuel Correa at the top of Eau Rouge, as the pair plus Ralph Boschung took evasive action to avoid Giuliano Alesi’ spinning Trident.
Hubert was driving for Arden at the time of his death and his racing number was initially pulled for remainder of season plus for entirety of this season, although it will now be permanently retired from the F2 series whilst Arden left the category at end of last season.
Car number 18 has also consequently been retired with car numbers now running from 1-12, 14-17 then 20 onwards depending on how many teams compete in the series each season.
F2 has also announced a new logo has been designed as a tribute to Hubert, compromising of his initials, F2 racing number and a star which featured prominently on his helmet design. This logo will also be carried on all F1 and F3 cars throughout this weekend as a show of solidary and acknowledge that Anthoine will forever ‘be part of our racing family.’
Drivers will participate in a minute’s silence ahead of Saturday’s Feature Race to remember Hubert and demonstrate unwavering support to Hubert’s family and loved ones, with F1 following suit ahead of their race on Sunday.
2019 F1 Belgian GP winner, Charles Leclerc was a particularly close friend of Hubert and ahead of this weekend, he admitted that he is expecting a tough return to the circuit, saying; “It will be difficult to return to this track and he will be in our thoughts all weekend.”
Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly meanwhile believes that returning to Spa will be a “sad moment” after having known Hubert since they were both in karting and attended the same school as teenagers, although Gasly hopes that “everyone in the paddock will take time to think of him.”