Updated: Feb 28
Written by Muntaha Naushin, Edited by Morgan Holiday
On Saturday morning at the 24hrs of Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, a nasty crash took place at the top of the hill on the Eau Rouge and Raidillon corners. Four drivers, Jack Aitken, Davide Rigon, Kévin Estre, and Franck Perera were involved.
Williams Reserve driver Jack Aitken’s car crashed into the barrier on the left side of Raidillon and bounced back onto the track, straight onto the racing line. The car coming in full speed behind was Perera who then smashed into the back of Aitken and sent debris all over Eau Rouge. The other two drivers, Estre and Rigon, were collected by the debris. It looked horrible and the race was neutralized immediately.
Of the 4 drivers involved, Estre and Perera had been discharged from the medical centre upon primary checkups and returned to their teams, while Aitken and Rigon were transferred to the hospital for further evaluation, with no life-threatening injuries.
While wishing for a speedy recovery of everyone involved, Ferrari Test and Alfa Romeo Reserve driver, and also a teammate of Rigon and close friend to Aitken, Callum Ilott sent out the following tweet on Twitter expressing his thoughts.
“Main thing is that everyone is out of their cars, @rigondavide and @JaitkenRacer will be checked at the hospital and I hope all will be good.
I would also like to say that there needs to be a change at this corner and I’m very surprised nothing has changed yet. Enough is enough.”
It is to be noted that both Ilott and Aitken were racing in Formula 2 in 2019 when the horrible crash at Eau Rouge involving Juan Manuel Correa and Anthoine Hubert resulted in the latter’s demise and caused very serious injuries to Correa. Naturally, it would have been very distressing for Ilott to see another crash at the similar spot involving his friends.
Eau Rouge and Raidillon have been some of the most iconic corners of the F1 calendar, but with each racing incident like this, it is proving to be some of the most dangerous ones as well. Ilott had received comments upon his earlier tweet that told him to not race in Spa if he wasn’t comfortable to which he replied by saying the following-
“If I’m wrong for chasing for better safety after seeing 4 of my friends involved in massive accidents then I may as well not be human. I’ve come back to Spa after 2019 and I will come back again after this. But that doesnt mean if something isn’t good enough it shouldn’t be fixed.”
This morning Aitken put out a message on his social media accounts that he had broken his collarbone and suffered a fractured vertebrae and needed some time to get back to normal. Meanwhile, Rigon revealed that he had minor injuries and would need to wear a back brace for a few days but was fine otherwise.
What do you think? Should the FIA think about making changes to Eau Rouge and Raidillon to make it safer for the drivers?