Pierre Gasly: I told Charles Leclerc to win it for Hubert

Pierre Gasly paid tribute to his late friend Anthoine Hubert and says it will take him time to process the events of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Renault-supported Hubert, who won last year’s GP3 title, was killed in a high-speed crash during the opening stages of Saturday’s Formula 2 Feature Race.

Hubert and Gasly were close friends and after finishing ninth for Toro Rosso at Spa-Francorchamps he paid an emotional tribute to his fallen compatriot.

Belgian GP: Drivers' Standings | Constructors' Standings | Race Result

“I think it was for sure the most emotional pre-race I ever had because at 22 years old, 23 years old to live this kind of moments…” he said, trailing off.

“You lose one your best mates, I’ve grown up with these guys since I was seven in karting, we’ve been room-mates, we’ve lived in the same apartment, in the same room, for six years.

“We’ve been class mates, I’ve studied since I was 13 until 19 with him, with the same professor at a private school that the [French] federation did.

“I’m still shocked. I don’t realise how it can go so fast. It’s terrible.

“I’ve already planned to see all our friends we had in common with Anthoine tomorrow as none of us really understand and realise what has happened yesterday.”

The Formula 1 race was won by Leclerc, with the youngster taking a maiden victory in the championship from pole position, resisting a late surge from Lewis Hamilton.

“I told Charles before the race please win this race for Anthoine,” said Gasly.

“We started racing in the same year, Charles, Anthoine and myself, and Anthoine won the French Cup in 2005.

“We raced for so many years and knew each other. Between Jules [Bianchi], a few years ago, and now Anthoine, it’s terrible for French motorsport. They were two amazing characters and it’s difficult to realise.”