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In his honour Formula 2 officially announced that Anthoine Hubert’s #19 will be forever retired.

The tributes for Anthoine continued throughout the weekend.

 

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Last summer Renault took the Academy for a training camp, cycling across the Pyrenees, coast to coast. It was the penultimate day, and on top of us being tired, it was shocking weather. Constant rain in the morning, and cold as well. We battled our way up the first long climb of the day, racing to the top because we couldn’t help it, before grabbing some warmth in a café at the top as we waited for the others to arrive. A quick caffeine top-up and we descended the mountain, the high speeds chilling our soaked bodies, and the lack of pedalling compounding things. Just pulling the brake levers was becoming a (scary) exercise. We got to the bottom and worked our way through the last stretch to the lunch stop, silence rather than the usual chatter in the group, apart from the occasional “How far to go??”. I can only describe it as the feeling of being beaten down, your body is way out of its comfort zone, tired from the effort, cold past the point of shivering. It was brutal, particularly for the less experienced of our group. We finally made it, and when we got there the crew from @coldupeuch said they were pulling the plug. We’d drive to the next hotel. We all had a race next week we couldn’t afford to miss for illness or a crash. But as we waited for food, little patches of blue appeared in the mostly black sky. Anthoine looked outside, then at us, and said that actually he wanted to finish the day, paired with a typically nonchalant shrug. I said he was mental and continued wondering where our hot bowls of pasta were. Being ill for my next race didn’t tickle my fancy. But then Victor said he wanted to go too. My competitive side started nagging me. I couldn’t let them get away with this. So a group of us ventured out again. Several hours later, after a particularly nasty climb and 160kms, we finished the day. And he was bloody right. To come all the way out here and drive that 80km stretch, to not do the *whole* route to save ourselves some frozen extremities and an afternoon of graft, would’ve been a crime really. But it took a lot to realise that shivering in sodden lycra after a morning of torture by bike. Merci Anthoine, for helping us live, then and now.

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AH19 ❤️

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In 2017 Anthoine and I were teammates at ART GP in GP3. There were 4 of us, myself, Anthoine, George and Nirei. ART pretty much dominated that year, with us taking the top 4 spots in the championship, but I think it’s fair to say we got on pretty well despite spending a fair bit of time racing each other. We’d even managed to have a 3-wide moment at Monza, for the win, without crashing! For Silverstone that year we were staying in Northampton, and for one reason or another I ended up sharing a hire car with Anthoine for a few of the days. On the Thursday, we were doing our usual prep, and in a spare moment I was walking down the paddock (we’re based in the ‘old’ pits by Copse) and saw some of the unused garages were lit up, and some old cars were in there. Old Williams F1 cars to be exact. No idea why the garage had been left open and unattended, but I didn’t need another invitation, so I walked in and started having a closer look. There were cars from the Rothmans era, BMW Williams, even one from the proper turbo and ground-effect times decked out in green and white. I had to leave eventually, but later that day when we were all done, Anthoine and I were walking to the car and I motioned for him to come over to the garage door. It was closed but I was really hoping… yep! The door was still unlocked. We went in and his reaction was the same as mine had been; woah. We admired the retro liveries, and joked about how flimsy the protection was on even the most recent of these, compared to our GP3 cars. I don’t remember what else we talked about, probably what it would be like to drive one… But it was just two guys in a dream garage, free to look as close as they want, as much as they want. It was as if we were kids again, awestruck by these rocket ships, even though not 1km away was a Formula 1 paddock and a team we had access to fairly regularly. I find that pretty comforting actually, it means we haven’t lost our passion. We eventually turned off the lights, closed the door and left. We drove back to the hotel and had a candlelit dinner for two to finish off the day, ready to hit the track tomorrow. Living the dream wasn’t far wrong.

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We here at @InsideF2 will forever remember him.

Rest peacefully, Anthoine #AH19 x

*Image Credit: Formula Motorsport Limited

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