It's all of us to blame

Columns: Editorials
When predicting tragedies like today's in which Dilano van't Hoff lost his life in Spa becomes too easy, there is something that never adds up. The mantra that "motorsport is dangerous" hasn't stood still for some time here: F1 has contaminated the supply chain from above, sparing no motor discipline, karting first and foremost. (fm)

The nasty crash in which Dilano van't Hoff died a few hours ago in Spa during a FREC race, at the same place in which Antoine Hubert lost his life in an accident with very similar dynamics in 2019, brought us back to the mind when last month, together with the brilliant colleagues of formulascout.com we reported the some anomalies in the Italian Formula 4 (in that case the Italian Championship, intended for newly 15-year-olds) and we therefore thought of contacting some teams, getting some drivers to talk, in short, following the umpteenth “near tragedy” we would have liked to bring the issue to the surface, to understand what 'those who take the decisions' thought about it. Because in the end, when it comes to small racing cars that reach almost 250 kph on which 15-year-old kids drive, those decisions have to do with life and death, if you think about it. The team managers we interviewed preferred not to discuss these matters with us, just as we were advised against speaking to the young drivers on such "delicate" topics. For this reason we too are a little guilty, who in the end we are unable to identify, in this labyrinth of press offices, “BS” offices, "official" press releases, we do not know who to ask the simplest questions. Who chooses, and on the basis of what criteria, at what age can you compete in a single-seater, or in a minikart from 110 kph to 8 years old (when we talk about motorsport we are now talking about a monolith), on which circuits it is right or not to race , or in what weather conditions should a race start or not? The FIA? Team Managers? Coach drivers? Drivers dads? Who? What sort of 'college', if any, is behind these decisions? Talking about announced tragedies is extremely rhetorical today, when poor Dilano, born in 2004, is no longer here. To quote the tweet that promptly appeared signed by Stefano Domenicali, Dilano van't Hoff did not literally die chasing his dream. He, like many others, was pursuing it on an obligatory and predetermined roadmap by others, if not those mentioned above, perhaps the "motorsport market", on cars which, in order to get there, he found himself forced to drive, on circuits in which he been required to run. If "motorsport is dangerous" were the only rosary to start reciting whenever something imponderable happens, we wouldn't have homologation for helmets, racesuits, structural integrity tests, halos, circuits and anything else that have made today's motorsport very different from that of even just 30 years ago. Motorsport is dangerous because life is somehow dangerous, we know this without being reminded by the "paddock philosophers" and there are imponderable factors that go beyond our ability to predict and prevent, but it is petty as well as extremely it is insensitive to hide behind this fatalism whenever one is confronted with it. The F4 is not the Isle of Man’s Tourist Trophy and let's not kid ourselves: in the whole supply chain, from Minikarts to F1 today there is very little 'poetry'. Yes, the money goes around: it could be used to set up non-partisan bodies that can decide whether or not to race in certain racetracks, whether and how to sanction certain driving behaviours, but at the moment, frankly, it is difficult for us to think that it is possible. As some of you may be thinking, it's too late now, because after all, no one cares about Dilano, like Anthoine, net of the heartbreaking posts.


Dilano van't Hoff, born in 2004, had started racing in karts almost as a joke, replacing a boy of the same age who one day, at a Rental track, had started crying and hadn't wanted to take part in the race. From there, his love for karting and racing led him to cover the entire process first in the IAME series, where he obtained some prestigious international placements, as well as numerous appearances in WSK races and in the FIA European and World Championships up to the OK category, where he competes until 2020 and where his most important victory remains the one at the Trofeo delle Industrie in 2019. In 2021 he is Spanish F4 Champion: in the Formula Regional European Championship he was, like many of his peers, trying to shine to aspire to the passage of category. Condolences from the Vroom editorial team go out to Dilano's family and friends.

Created by: fmarangon2 - 01/07/23

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