Sunday, 7 Aug 2022

Formula 1 boss Nathalie Maillet killed in ‘double murder-suicide’

The world of motorsport has paid tribute to Nathalie Maillet, an ex-race car driver and the chief executive of Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps track, who has died aged 61.

According to Belgian reports, Maillet and another woman were shot by her husband Franz Dubois in a double murder-suicide on Sunday in the region of Gouvy.

A police statement said the “lifeless” bodies of two women and a man were discovered with gunshot wounds.

“The male would have deliberately used his weapon against the two women, among whom was his wife, resulting in their death before killing himself,” the statement said.

The former race car driver was appointed as the chief executive of the track, which held its first Grand Prix in 1925, in 2016 and oversaw its modernisation.

The track’s chairman, Melchior Wathelet, said: “My thoughts are with Nathalie’s family, her parents, relatives and teams.

“Today we are losing a very great lady, a motorsports lover and enthusiast, a true leader who will be sorely missed.

“Nathalie had become the face of the circuit, she embodied this passion for racing that we all share.”

Maillet was a latecomer to motor racing, enrolling in racing school aged 33 – after studying architecture at the University of London.

She won her first Fun Cup in 2006 and was runner up in the Roadster Cup in the same year.

The FIA, motor racing’s governing body, also paid tribute to Maillet, saying in a statement that it had been “saddened to learn of the tragic death”.

The next F1 race on the calendar is scheduled to take place at Maillet’s track in Belgium on 29 August.

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