Home Featured Van Amersfoort wants Eau Rouge to be changed “as quickly as possible”

Van Amersfoort wants Eau Rouge to be changed “as quickly as possible”

by Ida Wood

Photo: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

Van Amersfoort Racing founder Frits van Amersfoort has called for Spa-Francorchamps to revise the Eau Rouge and Raidillon corners following the death of Dilano van’t Hoff.

Two weekends ago van’t Hoff died at Spa in a Formula Regional European Championship race. He crashed on the Kemmel Straight after Raidillon, then was hit by another car at speed in low visibility conditions.

The Eau Rouge-Radillion section – a high-speed uphill left-hander that then goes right over a crest and kinks left again – is one of the most well-known and popular corners in motorsport but in the last five years has become infamous for major crashes that have led to cars either hurtling into the barriers to the left of the crest or bouncing off them and into a nearly blind spot on the track just over the crest.

Formula 2 racer Anthoine Hubert lost his life in such an incident in 2019, and Jack Aitken broke his back in a sportscar crash at the top of Raidillon in 2021. Later that year, Spa started construction work [pictured] on changes to Eau Rouge not only in response to safety concerns but also flooding damage.

The Tarmac run-off was extended throughout the uphill sweep, primarily on the left-hand side going up the hill and then also on the right at and beyond the crest. Van’t Hoff’s crash has led to further changes being desired.

“I’m really in favour of changing the circuit. It’s an interesting point. It will be a controversial point,” said van Amersfoort.

“Of course we like Eau Rouge and Raidillon for its challenge, we like Eau Rouge and Raidillon for its beautiful, let’s say, when you see it and you see these cars going through it, it’s of course wonderful to see. But in my opinion, it’s simply too dangerous.

“And in contrary to when I was young, racing was really, really dangerous. Nowadays, racing is quite safe. From my point of view, we should change that corner, even though it probably breaks with history.”

“I think it’s good to realise that we don’t drive on the Nurburgring anymore after Niki Lauda’s accident [in 1976], and that’s also for a reason.

“[To avoid that] Spa will be changed. Especially the Eau Rouge, Raidillon section. Or we don’t drive on Spa anymore with single-seaters. That’s my opinion, because we have to realise since Anthoine died, and now Dilano died in more or less the same place, a lot of accidents, severe accidents happened there with GT cars and whatever.

“Of course they were not fatal. But also in our own F4 team [recently], one of my guys nearly escaped. The car was a wreck. So, sorry, what are we doing? I mean, we can’t just do nothing. To me, we should change it as quickly as possible because I really am quite concerned about going to Spa in three weeks [for F2]. I really am.”

Team bosses in Italian F4 called out the driving standards that led to several major crashes when racing there this May.