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
Ogier appears set for Toyota Hypercar run in WEC rookie test

Previous article

Ogier appears set for Toyota Hypercar run in WEC rookie test

Next article

Neuville reveals support from Jacky Ickx for Ypres WRC win

Neuville reveals support from Jacky Ickx for Ypres WRC win
Load comments
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021