It is impossible to assign blame for the death of French driver Anthoine Hubert in a Formula 2 race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium last August, the FIA said on Friday.
“There was no single specific cause but multiple contributory factors giving rise to the severity of the accident,” motorsport’s governing body said in a statement following “an in-depth analysis” and report by its safety department.
American driver Juan Manuel Correa was seriously injured in the accident which involved four cars, those of Hubert and Correa and of Frenchman Giuliano Alesi and Swiss Ralph Boschung, who were not injured.
“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 statement said.
The investigation calculated that the accident sequence lasted 14.6 seconds and started when Alesi went off, likely as a result of a loss of pressure in one tyre, struck the safety rails and rebounded onto the track, covering it with debris.
Boschung and Hubert tried to avoid the debris but the Swiss braked harder and the Frenchman ran into him from behind at, the report calculated, 262 km/h, losing his front wing and control.
Hubert’s car then flew across the track and into a safety barrier and bounced back into the middle of the track, sideways on and in the racing line.
Correa meanwhile hit Alesi’s debris, lost control and t-boned into the side of Hubert’s car at a speed of 218 km/h, smashing it back into the barriers.
The safety investigation report said that a red flag was raised a little over 5 seconds after Correa hit Hubert, that medical and rescue services intervened 12 seconds after Alesi first lost control, before Correa’s car had stopped moving, and that the first medical assessment of Hubert “took place 54 seconds after the red flag was raised”.
FIA, said these times were “timely and good”.
Hubert’s death was officially announced a few hours after the accident, while Correa, who suffered serious leg injuries, is still in rehabilitation.