Belgian F1 chief dead in suspected murder-suicide

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Wed, 18 Aug 2021, 9:28AM
The F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. (Photo / Getty)
The F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. (Photo / Getty)

Belgian F1 chief dead in suspected murder-suicide

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Wed, 18 Aug 2021, 9:28AM

The F1 world is in mourning after Nathalie Maillet, the CEO of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, was allegedly killed in a reported murder-suicide. 

The 51-year-old was found dead alongside her husband and another woman at her home in the town of Gouvy in the Luxembourg province of Belgium on Sunday morning local time. 

The Luxembourg public prosecutor released a statement confirming three people had died as a result of gunshots. 

"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." 

Spa-Francorchamps CEO Nathalie Maillet.

Spa-Francorchamps CEO Nathalie Maillet. 

Tributes flowed from across the entire F1 and Motorsports community for Maillet, who in 2016 was appointed CEO of the Spa-Francorschamps circuit, where the Belgian F1 Grand Prix is held. 

She had been overseeing an AU$129 million revamp of the track's ageing facilities. 

"It is with great sadness that the team of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit have been informed of the death of Nathalie Maillet, CEO," the circuit said in a brief 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." 

Melchior Wathelet, chairman of the board of directors of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, added: "My thoughts are with Nathalie's family, her parents, her loved ones and her teams. 

"I know how much this news will upset our teams and I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the entire circuit team on behalf of the entire board. 

"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." 

The FIA, F1's governing body, also expressed its condolences for Maillet's passing. 

"The FIA has been saddened to learn of the tragic death of Nathalie Maillet. 

"Nathalie was the Chief Executive Officer at Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps since 2016 during which time she oversaw major development of the iconic racetrack which hosts a number of FIA championships. 

"On behalf of the entire motorsport community, we wish to extend our condolences to her family and friends." 

In poignant timing, the next race on the F1 calendar is the Belgian Grand Prix, which will be held at the Spa Francorchamps Circuit on 29 August.