He would have turned 23 next month. Anthoine Hubert, a young Formula 2 prodigy – the last rung up before F1 – was killed in a terrible crash this Saturday around 17 hours at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. The images of her car, torn apart by the violence of the shock, circled social networks. We can see Anthoine Hubert's car bounce off a wall of tires, come to a stop on the track, before being hit hard by the Spanish driver Juan-Manuel Correa.
A drama that abruptly interrupts a career as brief as promising. The father of Anthoine, rally driver, had offered his first kart to his son when he was … 3 years old. "My dad was taking me to the supermarket car parks and doing a circuit with studs. Then I had a mini-kart and I started going on the circuits, "said Anthoine Hubert at Franceracing.fr, in 2013.
"My dream is to go in F1"
At the age of four, he joined the kart club of Angerville (Essonne), where his talents are quickly recognized. "Usually children can not start before five, but the club president at the time arranged for Antoine to start earlier. We have always been grateful, "said Christian Genty, the current president of the club.
At the age of seven, young Anthoine Hubert started the competition. His career is dazzling. He won the Coupe de France in 2005 and 2009, and took third place at the U18 World Championships in 2011 and 2012. "It was the beginning of everything," he told the specialized website. "There are a lot of levels, so it teaches you to go out of your way, to strive for perfection. "
The transition to the car is done naturally in 2013, not without brilliance. That year, Anthoine literally dominates the season and becomes French champion of Formula 4, with nine victories in eighteen races. He is just 17 years old. "My goal is to become a professional driver. My dream is to go in Formula 1, "then recognized the young driver of the steering wheel in the columns of L'Est Républicain.
A "figure" of Angerville
Anthoine Hubert was then noticed in Formula Renault 2.0, then in European Formula 3, before being crowned champion in GP3 Series last year. A sesame that had earned him to be promoted to a member of the Renault Driver Academy, the program of the young drivers of the manufacturer, and to ride in F2, at BWT Arden. In May, he triumphed in Monaco before clinching a second consecutive victory in June at the Circuit Paul Ricard at Le Castellet.
In Angerville, a small town in the Essonne region to which Anthoine Hubert had remained faithful, the emotion was very lively this Saturday evening. "Every year, he was present at the general meeting of the club," recalls Christian Genty, still "in shock". "He also visited us at the European Karting Championship last April. He was the club's mascot, he was always ready to help and was very popular with young people. "
"The whole city is bereaved, he was a figure of the karting club but also of the city," moved the mayor (SE) of the city Johann Mittelhausser, who had met Anthoine Hubert several times. "We know that the world of motorsport is dangerous, but it's still something dramatic," added the city council, which plans to hold a tribute soon.