Vettel: I’d rather Formula One was boring if it could bring back Hubert

The sport has gathered in Monza still recovering from Hubert’s death following a 160mph Formula Two crash at Spa-Francorchamps.

By Press Association Published: 5 September 2019 - 4.37pm

Lewis Hamilton


Sebastian Vettel has said he would rather Formula One be boring if it could bring back Anthoine Hubert, the young French driver killed last weekend.

The sport has gathered in Monza still recovering from Hubert’s death following a 160mph Formula Two crash at Spa-Francorchamps.

The tragedy is being investigated by the FIA. The car belonging to Giuliano Alesi, the driver who Hubert dodged before crashing into the barriers, has since been impounded by Belgian police.

Hubert became the first driver to die during a Formula One race weekend since Ayrton Senna was killed at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

But Vettel, a senior member of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, insists the sport must continue to improve safety.

“Some people think Formula One is too safe and too boring, but I would rather have boring Formula One championships forever and bring Anthoine back,” said Vettel ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

“The accident shows there are things we can do better and things we must improve and must work on. What happened couldn’t be any worse.

“I am a fan of holding races at Spa because it is a great track with a great history, but we must take a closer look and examine the incident in a very detailed way.”

Earlier this week, Sir Jackie Stewart claimed that Formula One drivers are taking too many risks, and expected Hubert’s accident to serve as a wake-up call.

Three-time world champion Stewart survived the sport’s deadliest era, and it was his campaign which transformed safety.

Frenchman Jules Bianchi died in July 2015, nine months after his crash at the rain-hit Japanese Grand Prix.

Vettel, 32, added: “He (Stewart) raced in a horrible time where drivers passed away more frequently, so you cannot compare his era to ours. He knew what it felt like and he is able to judge.

“To some extent, it is part of motor sport. It is dangerous and that is part of the thrill, but the last few years have been a wake-up call following the passing of Jules and now Anthoine.”

American driver Juan-Manuel Correa, who tore through Hubert’s car, was this week transferred from Liege to a hospital in London. He broke both his legs and suffered spinal cord damage in Saturday’s tragedy.

Lewis Hamilton holds a 65-point lead over team-mate Valtteri Bottas heading into the final round of the European season.

The tifosi will be expecting Ferrari to build on their strong performance in Spa where Charles Leclerc registered his maiden grand prix win.