Chaotic weather conditions in Spielberg make it a tough weekend for BWT HWA RACELAB

BWT HWA RACELAB left round two of the FIA Formula 2 Championship in Spielberg, Austria, empty-handed. Giuliano Alesi (France) showed potential, but was unable to hit top form in what were difficult conditions at times. Team-mate Artem Markelov (Russia) was unlucky and was only able to take part in race two.

  • 21st and 15th place for Giuliano Alesi, DNS and 16th place for Artem Markelov
  • Giuliano Alesi: "The way we are working together gives me hope."
  • Artem Markelov: "The improvements were not enough."
  • Thomas Strick: “We must continue to work hard."

Spielberg, 12th July 2020 – At the start of a weekend dominated by extreme fluctuations in the weather, Giuliano Alesi (France) looked thoroughly competitive in free practice, which he ended as fifth fastest. However, it soon became clear in qualifying that BWT HWA RACELAB was in for two tough races in Spielberg: Artem Markelov (Russia) and Giuliano had to settle for 20th and 21st place on the grid.

Following heavy rainfall, it was uncertain for a long time whether the opening race of the weekend would actually take place at the circuit in the Styria region of Austria. The start was initially delayed and the field was due to set off on the formation lap on a wet track at 17:35 local time. The slippery surface proved Artem's undoing on the way to the grid for the formation lap. The Russian came off the track, damaging his car and ruling him out of the race.

Once the field had completed the formation laps in persistent rain, race control decided to delay the start again, with the race eventually getting underway at 18:30 local time. The first four laps took place behind the safety car. Given the difficult conditions, Giuliano was faced with a virtually impossible task of making up ground from 21st on the grid. By the time he had also picked up a time penalty, it was just a question of completing the race and gathering more data.

The sun came out on Sunday, raising hopes of an easier race for BWT HWA RACELAB. Giuliano and Artem did fare a little better on the dry track. Giuliano initially showed good pace to climb into 15th place by the end of lap eight, until a collision with another car - caused by no fault of his own - halted his progress and saw him drop back through the field a little. This allowed Artem to pass the Frenchman, and the two team-mates became embroiled in a fascinating battle for 16th and 17th place, with the son of former Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi eventually coming out on top. The BWT HWA RACELAB duo ended the race in 15th (Giuliano) and 16th (Artem) place.  

The FIA Formula 2 Championship continues on 18th and 19th July with two races at the Hungaroring.

Quotes on the race weekend

Artem Markelov (25, Russia, car number 16), DNS and 16th place
"That was not really a satisfactory weekend for us. We worked hard to find a solution and improve the performance of the car. We did manage to make a few improvements, but they were not enough. We must now keep our chin up and go again next weekend." 

Giuliano Alesi (20, France, car number 17), 21st and 15th place
"That was definitely not the result we had hoped for this weekend. Our car was still absolutely competitive in free practice. We were then confronted by many problems, including some that were out of our hands – particularly in race two. We are already working on analysing and solving the individual issues, to make sure that we come back stronger in Budapest. The team spirit and the way we are working together gives me hope that we will do just that."

Thomas Strick (Team Principal BWT HWA RACELAB)
"We have a difficult weekend behind us. The persistent rain and long time spent waiting were a real test for us on the Saturday. We basically just have to continue to work hard to improve the performance of the car. We took a small step forward today, even if this was not reflected in the points."


Result of race one, Saturday 11th July:

1.      R. Shwartzman                    PREMA Racing                          56:32.840
21.   Giuliano Alesi                        BWT HWA RACELAB                   57:27.889
DNS Artem Markelov                   BWT HWA RACELAB                   DNS                                                

Result of race two, Sunday 12th July:

1. C. Lundgaard                             ART Grand Prix                          36:51.582
15. Giuliano Alesi                           BWT HWA RACELAB                    37:33.403
16. Artem Markelov                       BWT HWA RACELAB                    37:40.822


About HWA AG
HWA AG is an independent, 360° engineering specialist in the fields of automobile racing and high-performance cars. Formed in 1998 by Hans Werner Aufrecht, the company is based in Affalterbach (Germany) and employs roughly 300 highly-qualified members of staff. HWA AG offers all its products and services under the motto ENGINEERING SPEED: The company’s objective is to develop the best possible, high-quality solutions, in order to get its partners and customers to their destination quicker. The portfolio of services ranges from designing all vehicle components to assembling complete cars, together with the relevant logistics, after-sales and support services.

HWA RACELAB is HWA AG’s operations team in motorsport. It brings together experienced specialists in high-quality race engineering and the associated services, in pursuit of success on the motorsport scene. HWA RACELAB entered Formula E as a new team in the 2018/19 season, adding a future-oriented string to HWA’s wealth of racetrack expertise. HWA RACELAB has also been competing in the FIA Formula 3 Championship since 2019 and will be appearing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship from 2020. With eleven Drivers’ titles and over 180 race wins as a works team for Mercedes-AMG in the DTM, the company is one of the most successful players in international motorsport. HWA RACELAB also draws on the company’s other core areas of expertise, such as the development, assembly and running of GT cars for customer racing, as well as the assembly of Formula 3 race engines.


Annette Hörsch

Tel:           +49 (0) 7144 8717 – 215