Lewis trib­ute to tragic Hu­bert

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Sport - BY NICK PATTISON BY GARY RAL­STON

LEWIS HAMILTON led the trib­utes to rac­ing prodigy An­thoine Hu­bert, who died af­ter a hor­ror crash in the fea­ture For­mula 2 race at the Bel­gian Grand Prix yes­ter­day.

The dev­as­tat­ing, high-speed crash took place as 22-year-old Hu­bert’s car col­lided with that of Juan Manuel Cor­rea.

Both cars al­most dis­in­te­grated in the shock­ing crash.

The race was aban­doned af­ter mar­shals at­tended the scene.

Hamilton (inset, below) said: “This is dev­as­tat­ing. God rest your soul, An­thoine. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your fam­ily.

“If a sin­gle one of you watch­ing and en­joy­ing this sport thinks for a sec­ond what we do is safe, you’re hugely mis­taken. All th­ese driv­ers put their lives on the line when they hit the track and peo­ple need to ap­pre­ci­ate that in a se­ri­ous way because it is not ap­pre­ci­ated enough. Not from the fans nor some of the peo­ple ac­tu­ally work­ing in the sport.

“An­thoine (left) is a hero, for tak­ing the risks he did to chase his dreams. I’m so sad that this has hap­pened. Let’s lift him up and re­mem­ber him. Rest in peace, brother.”

The crash was on the exit of Eau Rouge at the Spa-Francorcha­mps circuit, as the French Re­nault de­vel­op­ment driver and Cor­rea col­lided. Hu­bert’s car went into the bar­rier and span off into the path of Cor­rea’s car, which was launched into the air by the im­pact. The Ecuado­ri­anAmer­i­can, 20, is in a sta­ble con­di­tion in hos­pi­tal in Liege.

Mean­while, in F1, Hamilton was left behind by Charles Le­clerc as his Fer­rari came good in qual­i­fy­ing to lock out the front row for to­day’s grand prix.

Le­clerc is in pole, ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vet­tel.

Hamilton had to set­tle for third af­ter his Mercedes needed re­pairs fol­low­ing a crash in prac­tice. JO KONTA is rev­el­ling in a new-found ma­tu­rity as she bids to go fur­ther than ever be­fore at the US Open.

The Bri­tish No.1 (above) faces third seed Karolina Pliskova to­day for a place in the quar­ter-fi­nals at Flush­ing Mead­ows.

Konta, the last Bri­ton stand­ing in the sin­gles, has won through to the fourth round in New York for the third time in her ca­reer.

She has reached the semi-fi­nal of ev­ery other Grand Slam and if she makes the last four she’ll be­come the first Bri­tish woman since Jo Durie in 1983 to achieve the feat.

The No.16 seed has de­feated Czech Pliskova only once in seven pre­vi­ous meet­ings and lost out to the big server in the fi­nal of the Rome Masters in May.

How­ever, Konta is adamant her game has im­proved significan­tly af­ter swat­ting aside Zhang Shuai 6-2 6-2 in only 71 min­utes to set up the Pliskova show­down.

The 29-year-old said: “I’ll be go­ing into the match with good tol­er­ance and I also like to think I’ve grown as a player since Rome.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing how I can do bet­ter, maybe ask some bet­ter questions this time around. More than any­thing, it’s prob­a­bly in my de­ci­sion­mak­ing and also how or when I play cer­tain shots.

“I’m en­joy­ing the whole thing more and per­haps that’s the evolution of my ca­reer.

“I’d like to do bet­ter at Slams, but I’m pleased to have made it to the sec­ond week of my last three.”

Or­na­ment that frac­tured Framp­ton’s hand

DAM­AGED

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