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Hamilton: Spa must "definitely take a step" after FRECA van 't Hoff fatality

Lewis Hamilton reckons the FIA “definitely need to take a step” by modifying Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix host circuit Spa-Francorchamps following the death of Dilano van ’t Hoff.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Eighteen-year-old MP Motorsport driver van ’t Hoff lost his life during the second rain-soaked Formula Regional European by Alpine Championship race last weekend at Spa.

The crash happened on the Kemmel Straight, after the Eau Rouge and Raidillon sequence, and bore similarities to the 2019 incident that killed FIA F2 driver Anthoine Hubert.

Following the Hubert incident, run-off areas were extended, gravel traps constructed and barriers were adjusted. Meanwhile, the McLaren and Mercedes F1 teams will test mudguard-style arches following the British GP as a way to improve visibility in wet conditions.

Speaking at Silverstone, seven-time world champion Hamilton has acknowledged that Spa must receive further changes following the two fatal crashes, although he expressed his “trust” in the FIA, which has pioneered safety improvements such as the halo device.

Hamilton said of the van ’t and Hubert incidents: “I think it’s definitely devastating to see that we’ve lost two youngsters in such a short amount of time.

“But I do trust the FIA, they’ve done such a great job with safety. I know that’s such a focal point for them.

“They make so many changes year on year at every circuit and I’m sure they’ll be looking very much into Eau Rouge and whether or not we can improve that.”

Eau Rouge

Eau Rouge

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Hamilton added that the sport “definitely need to take a step”, which will aid visibility in the rain through a section of track that is famed for its elevation change.

He said: “We do need to make some changes because clearly, you’re coming over a hill, you can’t see anything in the bad weather conditions.

“This has happened now twice, so we definitely need to take a step.”

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Championship rival Max Verstappen has said it was “total unnecessary” to restart the FRECA race given the wet conditions.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll has called for the “blind” Eau Rouge and Raidillon complex to be modified, since “every time we go through there, we put our lives on the line.”

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon added: “There needs to be a review on everything that happened. It is a tragedy.

“The visibility is definitely the main factor in that race. For most of us, we drive blind in that moment so I’m sure the FIA is looking into it to try and improve the situation.

“The issue is that we should not learn the hard way. It’s a very sad moment for motorsport.”

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