By Chris King •
Updated: 27 Jul 2023 • 20:35
Image of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Credit: FrDr/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
THIS weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix at the famous Spa Francorchamps circuit is in danger of being cancelled.
With rain expected all weekend on what is a treacherous track in wet conditions, F1 drivers have raised their concerns over safety, according to The Sun this Thursday, July 27.
An incredible total of 49 drivers have died during racing events on the notorious Belgian track. The most recent was 18-year-old Dilano van ‘t Hoff.
The Dutch teenager was involved in a tragic accident while competing in the second race of the day in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine [FRECA] series.
Weather conditions at the time were terrible, with a lot of rain, which subsequently reduced visibility on the track. His car was hit from behind when the cars slowed down after one of the drivers was forced off the track onto the grass.
On August 21, 2019, the 22-year-old French F2 driver Anthoine Hubert also died at Spa after he was involved in a similar incident.
Due to bad conditions, the Belgian GP was cancelled in 2021. ‘The FIA have to be bold with their decisions when it comes to safety, especially visibility. We know what the situation was two years ago, we don’t want it to be strung out as perhaps it was then’, commented Mercedes driver, George Russell.
He stressed: ‘Everybody wants to race but when you’re going down that straight at 200 mph and you can’t see 50 metres in front of you, there will be huge incidents. They’ve got a big responsibility this weekend’.
Lewis Hamilton’s teammate is currently the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association’s head. The British racer is currently in talks with the FIA regarding track safety for this weekend’s event.
‘It is about constant communication with the FIA following the tragic passing of Dilano. The two questions are is Spa safe enough and then it’s the question of the conditions’, he explained.
On the subject of the circuit’s history, Lewis Hamilton offered: ‘It’s not something I ever think of. I think as a driver, it’s not something you can ever let really enter your mind. But trust in what the FIA is doing. I don’t think we would be here if they did not think we would be safe’.
Charles LeClerc, the Ferrari driver insisted however that some improvements should be made to the historic racing venue. ‘There are some changes that could make a difference. First of all, the walls on the straight after Eau Rouge, we should have a bit more space on the left and right’.
‘If you lose control of the car, the way it is done at the moment you are bouncing on the walls and you have a very high chance of finding yourself in the way. This is probably a change we should consider in the future’, he added.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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