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Stroll Demands Change At Spa After Another Fatal Crash

  • 3 min read

Aston Martin Formula One driver Lance Stroll called for changes to Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit on Saturday after Dutch racer Dilano van’t Hoff died in a junior series race.

The 18-year-old, who was involved in a multi-car collision during a wet Formula Regional European Championship race, was the second single-seater fatality in four years at the Belgian Grand Prix circuit.

“It’s a tragic day for motorsport. We lost a driver today, so I just want everyone to think about that,” said Stroll after finishing fourth in a Formula One sprint race at Austria’s Red Bull Ring.

“My thoughts are with him today. It breaks my heart what happened and I think Eau Rouge at Spa needs some looking into because we’ve lost two drivers now in the span of four or five years.

“It’s a really dangerous corner and we say it every year and it’s not fair what happened today.

“I think that corner has to change. I think it’s way too dangerous and I think every time we go through there there’s an accident waiting to happen. Today it happened again and we lost a young kid and it’s not fair.”

Spa hosts the Belgian Grand Prix on July 30.

Eau Rouge is the name given to the most famed corner on a circuit with a deadly record spanning decades but that left-handed kink leads into the fast and steep Raidillon right-hander and crest.

French racer Anthoine Hubert died in August 2019 in a multi-car accident at the exit of Raidillon in an F2 race at Spa-Francorchamps, with his car hitting barriers and bouncing back onto the track.

Organisers made changes to that part of the circuit after that crash, notably by enlarging run-off areas and moving back barriers.

Double world champion Fernando Alonso, Formula One’s most experienced driver and Stroll’s team mate, said wet weather procedures needed looking into with visibility a real problem.

“We cannot see anything. So if there is a car in the middle of the straight or whatever, that’s the real danger. What happened today should not be repeated,” he said.

“The spray of the cars needs to be studied to reduce it… I don’t know if Spa is the problem,” added the Spaniard. “I guess in Monza it will be the same thing if you find one car in the middle of the straight.

“You will not be able to see it, and that’s the real problem.”

Van’t Hoff won the 2021 Spanish F4 championship and was racing for the Dutch MP Motorsport team on the ladder that leads to Formula One.

Media reports said his car crashed on the long Kemmel straight that follows on from Raidillon.

“MP Motorsport is deeply saddened to confirm that our driver, Dilano van’t Hoff has passed away as a result of a crash during the second race of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine at Spa Francorchamps,” the team said.

The race, in wet conditions with heavy spray, was on the support programme for the 24 Hours of Spa endurance race.

Formula Two teams and drivers competing at the Austrian Grand Prix held a minute’s silence before Saturday’s sprint race.

“Dilano died in pursuit of his dream to reach the pinnacle of motorsport. Along with the entire motorsport community, our thoughts are with his family and loved ones,” said Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali.