A LUXURY yacht that burst into flames in Puerto Banus over the weekend belonged to ex-Formula One racing driver Bertrand Gachot, according to inside sources.

The 51-year-old Frenchman, who raced on and off between 1989 and 1995 and was considered one of the sport’s most promising young drivers, is the owner of the €42,000-a-week, 23-metre Princess charter yacht Gilliana that was destroyed by the fire.

Early reports indicate the fire was due to an electrical fault on board.

The inferno – which broke out at 10.30am on Sunday – saw two crew members rushed to hospital and brought traffic in the elite resort to a standstill.

The two injured crew were transferred to the Hospital Costa del Sol. A 50-year-old man received serious burns to his hands, while a 34-year-old woman was treated for symptoms of smoke inhalation.

Gachot was famously thrown out of the Jordan Grand Prix team for spraying CS gas on a London taxi driver on the roundabout at Hyde Park Corner, for which he received a two-month prison stint.

His race seat was temporarily filled by Michael Schumacher, making his Formula One debut.

The incident prompted a campaign of support named ‘Free Gachot’ organised by fellow racing driver Pascal Witmeur.

Diamovit Exclusive Rentals, who rent out the 23-metre yacht, confirmed the ownership of the boat.

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