Max Verstappen demands ‘better protection’ at Spa following death of 18-year-old Dilano van ‘T Hoff – Maxsports
May 19, 2024

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Max Verstappen demands ‘better protection’ at Spa following death of 18-year-old Dilano van ‘T Hoff

F1 world champion Max Verstappen demands drivers are given ‘better protection’ at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit following the ‘incredibly sad’ death of 18-year-old Dutch driver Dilano van ‘T Hoff

World champion Max Verstappen called for changes to Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit after the ‘unacceptable’ death there on Saturday of an 18-year-old Dutch driver.

Dilano van ‘t Hoff’s died in a Formula Regional European Championship race when he was collected at high speed by Irish driver Adam Fitzgerald in wet conditions – an incident reminiscent of Anthoine Hubert’s death in a Formula Two race on the steepling track four years ago.

Verstappen said he did not know his fellow countryman personally, but added: ‘He had the same dream as we all did growing up. We have to see what we can do to protect people because what happened today was not acceptable.’

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll went further by saying motor racing is ‘playing with fire’ unless modifications are made to the Eau Rouge/Raidillon complex that turns into the Kemmel Straight – the scene of yesterday’s death.

With Formula One due in Spa at the end of the month, the Canadian said: ‘The story of the day is not the sprint race here. We lost a young driver at Spa today. My thoughts are with him and his family.

F1 world champion Max Verstappen (pictured) has spoken out following the tragic death of 18-year-old Dutch driver Dilano van 'T Hoff

F1 world champion Max Verstappen (pictured) has spoken out following the tragic death of 18-year-old Dutch driver Dilano van ‘T Hoff

Van 'T Hoff died on Saturday after crashing at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium

Van ‘T Hoff died on Saturday after crashing at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium

‘It’s not fair what happened and that corner needs to be looked at and changed because we’ve lost two young talents in the span of five years.

‘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.’

The run-off area at Raidillon has been remodelled in response to Hubert’s death, but Stroll believes it needs more stringent reform. ‘It’s not enough,’ he said. ‘We discuss it but then it blows over. Without changes they’d be playing with fire again in a couple of weeks. And it’s not just us. F2 kids, F3 kids. Everyone.’

A minute’s silence was held on the grid before Saturday’s Formula Two race. F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali attended, his face stern.

Footage of the incident showed Van 'T Hoff spinning out of control before colliding with another car

Both drivers were launched down the track in the rainy conditions

Van ‘T Hoff appeared to spin out amid the rain before another driving collided into him 

Aston Martin's Lance Stroll insisted the Spa circuit needs to be 'looked at and changed'

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll insisted the Spa circuit needs to be ‘looked at and changed’