August 31, 2019 will be commonly remembered as a tragic day, sad for the common memory of many and certainly for Motorsport fans, on the eve of the Belgian Grand Prix, on Saturday, at the end of the Formula 1 qualifying the young Anthoine Hubert lost his life at more than 300 km / h in a tragic and unfortunate accident. Pierre Gasly, as well as all the pilots and in particular those who have known the young man in person and for many years, were shocked and astonished to rediscover that even in the 21st century life can still be lost in motor racing.
Below is an excerpt from Gasly’s thought published in The Players Tribune magazine. The Frenchman talks to journalists to describe what that tragic last day of August felt.
“When I arrived on the track as a child and saw an orange helmet on the track, I knew it was going to be a difficult weekend […] That orange helmet belonged to the most talented and fastest rider in France, Anthoine Hubert […] ‘Prove them wrong’. So Hubert urged me to react after the relegation from Red Bull to Toro Rosso […] In Budapest on Sunday evening I had spent a nice evening with Anthoine and we said goodbye by making an appointment on Sunday evening after the race in Belgium […] I could not know that that would be the last dinner with my ‘brother’ […] In Spa after qualifying, as always, I followed the early stages of F2 and saw what happened at Eau Rouge. Serious accidents happen at that speed […] During the meeting with the team, my manager informed me that the drivers involved were Hubert and Correa […] I started shaking, my head was gone. My body already knew what had happened […] When after the debriefing I went down to the paddock to my parents and my girlfriend to get more information, I only needed to look at them to understand what had happened. They were destroyed. And there began a desperate cry for me, I cried all my tears. I kept wondering how it was possible, Hubert always calculated everything perfectly, never took a risk, never a gamble […] I’ve never felt so bad in my life. […] The next day I knew that he was watching from up there and I lowered the visor to give my all. And from that moment on it is as if I had kept my helmet visor down for a whole year […] A year later I returned to Belgium and before the race weekend I went on foot to Eau Rouge to bring flowers to the point of the impact […] I said a prayer for him and then I got up. It was as if I felt the presence of him next to me. And only then, I ideally again raised the visor of the helmet.
Referring then to the incredible race conducted at Monza 2020: “I started the race in tenth position, but then on lap 29 when Hamilton stopped for the first time in three years, I had no one in front of me. I spent my career fighting and chasing like a madman, but in that moment there was nothing else but me, my car and the track. I drove every lap as if it were the last, I mean really. Someone he was watching over me. It was my day and I would not have allowed anything or anyone to deny it to me. And it was my day […] The lap of honor was a whirlwind of emotions […] On the podium, after the celebrations , I was left alone thinking about all the people who made that result possible. And I thought about the boy with the orange helmet. His dreams were my dreams. And that was our moment. […] Anthoine taught me a lot. […] Raising the visor to realize the privilege we enjoy is a duty or so lucky and being here and doing what I do. And I am very lucky to have met Hubert. He will take his dreams and his ambitions with me wherever I go. I love you my brother ”.