Report into Hubert accident to be presented on Wednesday

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A formal report into the circumstances surrounding the fatal accident at Spa-Francorchamps that claimed the life of Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert is due to be formally presented to the FIA World Motor Sport Council next week.

FIA President Jean Todt has confirmed that the investigation has been completed, and that the report will be one of the main subjects under discussion at Wednesday's WMSC meeting.

It's believed that the full report will not be made public, but that the recommendations for safety improvements will be published and acted upon.

A similar investigation into the mortal injuries sustained by Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix produced seven key recommendations.

Todt praised the "fascinating" progress made on improving safety in motorsport, but conceded that Hubert's "terrible" crash had meant that 2019 would inevitably be seen as a "bad year".

"Fortunately we are not used to having [drivers killed] any more, contrary to in the past when we were used to see it," Todt told an invited media audience at Abu Dhabi.

"Today when we see that, we are very badly surprised," he added. "In the past, we were not surprised.

"I don't want to take any credit for that, because it has been the philosophy of the FIA for decades," he stated. "We always try to do things better."

Hubert died following a multi-car accident at Eau Rouge at the end of August, the day before the Belgian Grand Prix.

The immediate cause of the incident was a spin for Giuliano Alesi's Trident car at the start of the second lap of the F2 feature race. Hubert ended up running into the barrier at Raidillon, with the Arden then being hit in turn at high speed by Juan Manuel Correa.

The Sauber Junior Team driver himself suffered serious injuries and was in an induced coma for almost two weeks following the accident. He still faces a long programme of surgery to save his right leg, and extensive rehabilitation lasting up to a year.

In a radio interview last week, Correa said that debris from Alesi's crash had lodged under his front wing and raised the car up, leaving him unable to steer away from Hubert.

"It was an accident with very bad luck, a long chain of events where four or five cars were involved," he told Argentina's Mundo Sport.

"I had meetings with the FIA," he added. "What I said about what I experienced coincides with the FIA report. But it’s over, no investigation is going to change the fact that I have a hard year ahead."

The severity of what happened meant that the FIA immediately commissioned a detailed enquiry into what could be done to avoid anything similar happening in future. The enquiry included a detailed forensic examination of the standardised F2 chassis and the cars involved in the accident.

"I don't know what more could be done to avoid what happened," admitted Formula 2 chief executive Bruno Michel, who pointed out that it was the first time a driver had died in the series or its predecessor GP2.

"We had some dreadful accidents over this 15 years," he acknowledged. "But every time the drivers walking away from the car so we forgot that it could happen."

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