Published On: Thu, Jul 27th, 2023
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Lewis Hamilton backs FIA over safety fears after death of 18-year-old at Belgian GP track | F1 | Sport

Lewis Hamilton has defended FIA chiefs when pushed on safety concerns at the Belgian Grand Prix. Hamilton admitted he trusted FIA officials to make the right decisions to keep drivers safe just weeks after an 18-year-old was killed at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Earlier this month, Dilano Van ‘t Hoff died after an accident in a Formula Regional race. The Dutch protege’s car was struck just after the Eau Rouge corner as poor visibility made it almost impossible to see his stationary vehicle.

Poor weather is predicted for this weekend’s race with rain on the radar for Friday’s qualifying and Saturday’s sprint race. But, Hamilton admitted he was fine competing after placing his trust with race bosses.

He said: “It is not something you can ever let into your mind. But [I] trust in what the FIA are doing. I don’t think we would be here if they didn’t think we would be safe. I trust in them as they have done such incredible work over the last couple of decades, I trust them to make the right decisions going forward.”

Former title rival Max Verstappen also supported the decision to carry on as he admitted safety was not a worry. The reigning champion commented: “The visibility of course is going to be very tough. Especially of course the more you are behind.

“Hopefully we can run, hopefully not too much rain like in 2021. It’s always a thing right safety but it can be on any track.” Spa-Francorchamps has had its safety record questioned in recent years after a series of incidents.

Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert was killed at the same corner back in 2019 after a similar side impact. Williams driver Jack Aitlen was also hospitalised after breaking his vertebrae in a horror crash at the 2021 Spa 24 Hours.

After Van ‘t Hoff’s death, Aston Martin star Lance Stroll called for chiefs to consider making urgent changes to the circuit. He explained: We lost a member of the racing family, and we seriously need to think about what to do at that corner because it’s never fun going through there.

“Every time we go through there, we put our lives on the line, and today we saw something bad happen, and it’s not right.”

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