The FIA’s Safety department has concluded its investigation into last year’s fatal Formula 2 accident, clearing all involved drivers and officials of any wrongdoing.
Anthoine Hubert suffered fatal injuries in the multi-car pile-up at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on 31 August 2019 that additionally left Juan Manuel Correa with life-changing leg fractures.
The FIA carried out an extensive investigation into the accident, including undertaking interviews, inspection of physical evidence, analysis of available video, and examination of data.
These findings were presented publicly on Friday.
Its investigation focused on the four cars involved in the accident, which lasted 14.6 seconds, and included Hubert, Correa, Giuliano Alesi and Ralph Boschung.
The report deemed that the accident sequence began when Alesi lost control of his Trident-run car through the uphill rise of the Eau Rouge/Raidillon complex on the second lap of the Feature Race.
It was deemed that there was a “reasonable probability” that “a loss of internal pressure of the right-rear tyre” contributed to Alesi losing control of the car.
In an attempt to avoid Alesi, the following drivers – Boschung and Hubert – slowed to avoid the car; the yellow flag was deployed by marshals 1.8s after Alesi’s car hit the wall, by which time the pair had already begun their respective trajectories.
Boschung slowed “more abruptly” than Hubert, who “made contract with the back of Boschung’s car, losing his front wing and causing a right rear tyre puncture to Boschung.”
Hubert’s car was pitched to the right and he suffered a 216km/h accident with the barriers, generating a peak force equivalent to 33.7g upon impact, striking the barriers at an angle of approximately 40 degrees.
Correa struck debris left by Alesi’s car, causing his own car to lose its own front wing, while sustaining damage to the front-right suspension.
Correa’s car veered to the right, off-track, and into the run-off area where Hubert’s car had stopped.
Correa hit the left-hand-side of Hubert’s “virtually stationary” car at an angle of 86 degrees and speed of 218km/h.
Correa’s car experienced a resultant peak force equivalent to 65.1g, while Hubert’s car suffered an impact of 81.8g.
Following this impact Hubert’s car was accelerated to 105.4km/h, and struck the barrier for a second time, before rebounding back towards the track.
Double yellow flags were rapidly deployed, followed by red flags, while the medical and rescue response started 12 seconds after Alesi’s initial impact.
Hubert was tended to 54 seconds after the red flag, Correa after 69 seconds, with the first extrication team arriving within two minutes of the accident occurring.
The FIA concluded that “a chain of events resulted in a protracted and complex crash sequence involving four drivers, which ultimately led to a high-speed ‘T-Bone’ type impact between the cars of Juan Manuel Correa and Anthoine Hubert.
“The dynamics of the car-to-car impact in terms of speed and trajectory were such that an extremely high level of energy was transferred and dissipated, translating into non-survivable trauma to Anthoine Hubert and very serious injuries to Juan Manuel Correa.
“There was no single specific cause but multiple contributory factors giving rise to the severity of the accident were identified, following a detailed analysis of the various phases of the accident.
“The investigation found no evidence that any driver failed to react appropriately in response to the yellow flag signal or to the circumstances on track.
“The reaction of marshals and race control in deploying signalling and rescue services in relation to the accident is considered timely and good.”
The findings were approved by the FIA Safety Commission and presened to the World Motor Sport Council.
Conclusions drawn from the accident will be integrated into world motorsport safety.
Correa is continuing his rehabilitation at home in Miami.