Anthoine Hubert has been labelled a "hero" by Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton as tributes flooded in following the Renault protege's death in a Formula 2 crash at Spa.
Hubert was involved in a huge accident early on in the feature race supporting the Belgian Grand Prix, and the FIA announced he had died shortly after from injuries sustained in the crash.
Hamilton described the news as "devastating" as he reacted to the news in a series of posts on Instagram.
"God rest your soul Anthoine," Hamilton wrote. "My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family today."
The five-time world champion followed up his initial message by urging followers of motorsport to "appreciate" what drivers do more.
Hamilton said Hubert, a Renault F1 junior who had won two races in his rookie F2 season, was a "hero" for following his dream in a dangerous sport.
"If a single one of you watching and enjoying this sport think for a second what we do is safe your hugely mistaken," Hamilton added.
"All these drivers put their life 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 is a hero as far as I'm concerned, for taking the risk he did to chase his dreams.
"I'm so sad that this has happened. Let's left him up and remember him. Rest in peace brother."
The 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button also took to social media to pay tribute to Hubert, as did multiple F1 drivers and teams and some of Hubert's contemporaries in F2.
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