Last week Codemasters released the first video in an upcoming series focusing on the FIA Formula 2 Championship. F1 2019 marks the first time in series history that both F1 and F2 races are featured in the game, with players able to play through the full F2 2018 season at launch. A free update adding the 2019 season is due to arrive in the coming weeks, but last weekend’s tragedy has posed a tough dilemma for Codemasters.
22-year-old French F2 driver, Anthoine Hubert, was sadly killed in a horrifying collision at the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday. Hubert, who was driving for the BWT Arden racing team, struck the tire wall at the top of Spa-Francorchamps’ world-famous Eau Rogue/Radillon corner.
After a previous crash had spread debris onto the track, Trident driver Ralph Boschung slowed down and moved towards the run-off area to avoid the field of debris. Hubert, who was following close behind Boschung and had no view of the previous crash, swerved right to avoid the slowing car, clipping Borshung’s rear wheel with his front wing. The impact sent Hubert’s car into the tire wall at an acute angle, deflecting it sideways into the path of Charouz driver Juan Manuel Correra, who struck Hubert’s car at an estimated speed between 155 and 167 miles per hour. The devastating impact tore both cars apart. Hubert and Correra were transported to the circuit’s medical centre where Hubert died from his injuries.
FIA cancelled the following day’s sprint race out of respect for Hubert and his family, and now Codemasters faces a difficult decision over Hubert’s inclusion in the upcoming F2 update for F1 2019.
This season was Hubert’s first in the competition, and Codemasters will have no doubt modelled his likeness in the game for the upcoming F2 2019 season update. The important question is whether it would be insensitive to leave him in the game, perhaps as some kind of tribute, or would it be crass to remove him completely by replacing him with whoever takes his place in real life. The decision should probably rest with Hubert’s family.
In the case of Correra, the other driver involved in the accident, the situation is a little clearer. He suffered serious injuries, undergoing surgery for fractures in both his legs and a minor spinal injury, but he’s in stable condition. Correra won’t race again this season, and might not race again for the rest of his life, but he is alive so the dilemma isn’t quite as tricky.
Players on the F1 subreddit have been posting tributes to Hubert, capturing screenshots of their laps in his pink BWT Arden F2 car on tracks at Monaco and Paul Ricard, where Hubert claimed victories this season. A touching gesture for a heartbreaking tragedy.