Spa-Francorchamps CEO Maillet killed in murder-suicide

Spa-Francorchamps circuit director Nathalie Maillet has died aged 51, in what has been reported as a double murder-suicide.

Maillet's body was found by the local police in her Luxembourg home, alongside the bodies of her husband and another woman, all three showing gunshot wounds.

According to a statement issued by Luxembourg's public prosecutor, Maillet's husband is believed to have shot and killed both women before committing suicide.

"At 00:10, the bodies of two women and one man were discovered by the police in a house in Gouvy, all three presenting gunshot wounds," the statement said.

"According to our information, the male individual voluntarily used his firearm to kill both women, including his wife, before killing himself."

The Spa-Francorchamps circuit, which Maillet had overseen for the past five years, issued a statement confirming her death and expressing its shock at the tragedy.

"It is with great sadness that the team of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit have been informed of the death of Nathalie Maillet, CEO," read the statement.

"On this very sad day, the whole staff wish to present their most sincere condolences to Nathalie's family and friends.

"The circuit, but also motor racing, has lost today a passionate woman, strong in her convictions and always looking to the future."

Circuit chairman Melchior Wathelet hailed Maillet as "a true leader who will be greatly missed".

"My thoughts are with Nathalie's family, her parents, her loved ones and her teams," he said.

"Today, we are losing a highly respected lady, a true leader who will be greatly missed. Nathalie had become the face of the circuit, she embodied the passion for racing that we all share.”

Born into a French racing family, Maillet was a well-known figure in Belgian motorsport.

An architect by trade, Maillet tried her hand at racing in several domestic series before moving to various roles behind the scenes.

In 2016 she was elected as CEO of Spa-Francorchamps, becoming one of the driving forces behind plans to modernise the ageing Ardennes circuit.

Spa is in the middle of an 80million euro overhaul to improve safety and facilities, and to prepare the circuit for the return of the EWC Spa 24 Hours for motorcycles.

Maillet was also keen on attracting more international series beyond the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix and Spa's World Endurance Championship round.

Under Maillet's watch, Spa began hosting the World Rallycross Championship in 2019.

Her tragic death occurred the night before Spa hosted the final stages of the World Rally Championship's Ypres Rally.

Pierre Fillon, president of Le Mans organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, said: "We are particularly shocked and upset by this news. We were in regular contact over the past few years, in particular in relation to the FIA World Endurance Championship.

"Nathalie was passionate about motorsport and spared no effort in defending our causes. On behalf of the ACO, I extend our heartfelt condolences to her friends and family and to the staff of Spa-Francorchamps. They can count on our support in this difficult time."

Formula 1 also released a statement, saying: "We are deeply saddened by the awful news that our friend Nathalie Maillet has died. The whole of Formula 1 sends its deepest condolences to her family and friends. The motorsport community has lost an incredible person and we will all miss her greatly."

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Photo by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

shares
comments
Alonso: Alpine has lost too much ground to McLaren

Previous article

Alonso: Alpine has lost too much ground to McLaren

Next article

Norris: McLaren F1 bosses important in my development

Norris: McLaren F1 bosses important in my development
Load comments
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021