1 July (Reuters) – After Dutch racer Dilano van’t Hoff died competing in a junior series on Saturday, Aston Martin Formula One driver Lance Stroll urged for safety changes at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
The 18-year-old, who was competing in a rainy Formula Regional European Championship event, was the second fatality at the Belgian Grand Prix circuit in four years.
“It’s a tragic day for motorsport,” Stroll said after finishing fourth in a Formula One sprint race at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
“Today, my thoughts are with him. What occurred hurts my heart, and I believe Eau Rouge at Spa should be investigated because we’ve lost two drivers in the last four or five years.
“I think that corner has to change. I think it’s way too dangerous and I think every time we go through there there’s an accident waiting to happen. Today it happened again and we lost a young kid and it’s not fair.”
Spa hosts the Belgian Grand Prix on July 30.
The circuit’s most famous corner is called Eau Rouge, although that left-handed kink leads into the fast and steep Raidillon right-hander.
Anthoine Hubert, a French racer, died in a multi-vehicle collision near the exit of Raidillon in an F2 race in August 2019, with his car hitting barriers and bouncing back on track.
Following the crash, organizers made improvements, including expanding run-off areas and pulling back obstacles.
The true danger in the wet, according to Fernando Alonso, Formula One’s most experienced driver, and Stroll’s teammate, is a lack of visibility.
“There is nothing we can see. So the real hazard is if there is a car in the middle of the straight or anything. “What happened today should not happen again,”
“Car spray needs to be examined in order to eliminate it… “I’m not sure if Spa is the issue,” the Spaniard remarked. “I suppose it will be the same in Monza if you find one car in the middle of the straight.”
“You won’t be able to see it, and that is the real issue.”
Red Bull’s Belgian-born Dutch double world champion Max Verstappen agreed that an investigation was necessary.
“It’s easy to blame the track, but I think it’s also because of how wet it was and other factors.” “There are definitely things we need to look at for the future, what we can do better to protect drivers,” he said.
Van’t Hoff won the 2021 Spanish F4 title while racing for the Dutch MP Motorsport team on the Formula One ladder. According to media sources, his car crashed on the long Kemmel straight that follows Raidillon.
The race, held in wet weather with strong mist, served as a warm-up for the 24 Hours of Spa endurance race.
Before Saturday’s short race, Formula Two teams and drivers observed a minute’s silence at the Austrian Grand Prix.
“Dilano died chasing his dream of reaching the pinnacle of motorsport.” “Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones, as are those of the entire motorsport community,” stated Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali.
Source: Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Toby Davis