Renault pay tribute to 'brightest talent' Anthoine Hubert

F2 driver Anthoine Hubert passed away on Saturday

Renault have paid tribute to their junior driver, Anthoine Hubert, who was tragically killed during Saturday's Formula 2 Feature race.

The Frenchman joined Renault's junior programme in 2018, having secured the GP3 title in the same year.

"Renault Sport Racing is devastated at the loss of one of its brightest young talents, Anthoine Hubert, who passed away today following an accident involving several cars at Circuit Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.

"[He] was a huge talent who also brought great energy and positivity to his championship, his teams and the Renault Sport Academy. His smile and sunny personality lit up our formidable group of young drivers, who had formed tight and enduring bonds.

His strong results in F2 this season, including wins on home soil in Monaco and France, inspired not just the other recruits but also the wider Renault Sport Racing group.

Cyril Abiteboul, managing director of Renault Sport Racing, said: "Our thoughts are with Anthoine’s friends and family at this tragic time.

"Anthoine was a bright young man. His performance and conduct on and off track was that of a true gentleman and it was a pleasure and honour to have had him within our Academy.

"He will be sorely missed by our teams at Enstone and Viry. His spirit will remain with the team and we will race in his memory."

Tributes have poured in for the 22-year-old, including one from reigning Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, who described Hubert as a "hero" and highlighted the risk drivers take every time they get behind the wheel.

"If a single one of you watching and enjoying this sport think for a second what we do is safe [you’re] hugely mistaken. All these drivers put their life on the line when they hit the track and people need to appreciate that in a serious way because it is not appreciated enough. Not from the fans nor some of the people actually working in the sport.

"Anthoine is a hero as far as I’m concerned, for taking the risk he did to chase his dreams. I’m so sad that this has happened. Let’s lift him up and remember him. Rest in peace brother."