Pierre Gasly has not watched video footage of Dutch teenager Dilano van ‘t Hoff’s fatal accident at Spa-Francorchamps in a junior series race last weekend and nor does he want to.
What the French Formula One driver does want is for motor racing to take action now to prevent such needless tragedy in future.
Two young drivers have perished in four years at the Belgian Grand Prix circuit, the other being Gasly’s close friend and compatriot Anthoine Hubert, who lost his life in a Formula Two race in August 2019.
“What I really want as a driver, as a son, as a future dad, as a brother is really for the (governing) FIA to review exactly in detail why it happened and what we could have done to stop this from happening,” he told Reuters on Wednesday.
“We just can’t afford to lose young talents in the way that it has been over the last few years. We should not put these guys at such a risk. It’s always going to be a risky sport, there is always an element of danger, you know jumping in the car there is a very small chance that something bad can happen. But as a community and as a federation and organization, our job is to minimize these chances and there are definitely things we can improve.”
The Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine that van ‘t Hoff was racing in is certified by the FIA, but not run by it. An FIA spokesman said the Paris-based body was reviewing available data.
Van ‘t Hoff was racing for the Dutch MP Motorsport team on the ladder that leads to Formula One. His car crashed, and was hit by another in heavy spray on the Kemmel straight that follows on from Raidillon.
Hubert died in a multi-car accident at the exit of Raidillon, at the top of the famed Eau Rouge, when his car hit barriers and bounced back on track in the path of others.
French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi also died in 2015 after a crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix in extreme weather conditions.
“It’s a tricky topic because the issue that happened last weekend was clearly a visibility problem,” said Gasly, speaking at the launch of a special Enstone edition of Alpine’s A110S sportscar ahead of the British Grand Prix.
“I think what wasn’t correct was to put these young kids in these conditions. Personally, I decided not to look at the footage from last week because it’s been terrible with Anthoine and I don’t want to be seeing such things,” he continued.
“I leave it to the people in charge but I really demand from everyone involved to go over every case that happened and just improve. There is clearly something we can improve in terms of visibility and reduce the chances of these horrific crashes to happen in the future and we’ve got to make actions now.”
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