BWT HWA RACELAB loses out in tyre lottery at the Hungaroring

Round three of the FIA Formula 2 Championship at the Hungaroring was determined by tyre strategy. BWT HWA RACELAB driver Giuliano Alesi (France) was in contention for a points finish in both races, but was unable to maintain his pace throughout the full race distance. He did, however, show his potential with the fastest time in free practice. Artem Markelov (Russia) was stopped in his tracks by a crash, through no fault of his own.

  • 11th and 10th place for Giuliano Alesi, DNF and 14th for Artem Markelov
  • Giuliano Alesi: "We did not get the results we were hoping for."
  • Artem Markelov: "We can hopefully use the experience gained to challenge at the front in the coming races."
  • Thomas Strick: “We are sure to find it easier in Silverstone, as far as the tyres are concerned."

Budapest, 19th July 2020 – The race weekend at the Hungaroring started with a fastest time for BWT HWA RACELAB. Giuliano Alesi (France) performed well on a wet track in free practice, setting the fastest lap time of the session. However, that time was not particularly significant, as many teams had decided to save their tyres after the onset of rain and did not take to the track. Qualifying produced a clearer indication of what was to come, with Alesi and team-mate Artem Markelov (Russia) securing tenth and 17th place on the grid.

Giuliano did not make a great start to Saturday's race and promptly fell back a place. The rest of the race was dominated by pit stop strategies. Giuliano came in for a very early stop from eighth place on lap eight. However, it proved to be difficult to maintain his pace as the tyres started to wear towards the end of the race. Despite this, it looked momentarily as though the Frenchman could be on for course to pick up valuable points as he lay tenth after 27 laps. However, he was unable to hang on to that position on tired tyres and eventually crossed the finish line in 11th place.

Giuliano got off to a perfect start on Sunday. He skilfully used the dry line in the centre of the track, which was still damp in places, and promptly climbed three positions. As he had set consistent lap times for much of the race, the team decided to complete the full race on the same set of tyres. This tactic nearly paid dividends. Six laps from the end of the race, Giuliano was running second. However, his rivals on fresh tyres were closing all the time. The son of former Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi surrendered second place with five laps remaining, and was set to struggle over the closing laps. The tyres degraded with each lap and Giuliano was powerless to prevent one car after another from passing him. He kissed goodbye to any hopes of a points finish on the penultimate lap when he slipped out of the top eight. In the end, the 20-year-old had to settle for tenth place. 

Artem Markelov's race came to a quick end on Saturday. Having dropped two positions at the start, he was just recovering nicely when he became the victim of a chain reaction on lap four. When two other cars collided, he was unable to avoid the incident and skidded off into the crash barriers. He was unhurt in the crash, but was unable to continue.

Like his team-mate, he made a good start on Sunday and climbed from 20th to 16th place. Unlike Giuliano, Artem pitted for new tyres on lap 18. He once again found good pace on fresh tyres and fought his way from 16th to 14th place, courtesy of some fine overtaking manoeuvres.

The FIA Formula 2 Championship continues on 1st and 2nd August with two races in Silverstone.

Quotes on the race weekend

Artem Markelov (25, Russia, car number 16), DNF and 14th place
"I am happy with Sunday's race. I climbed from 20th to 14th place and had good feedback from the car. We now know how the tyres work and how to manage them. It was nice to finish the race and to win a few battles for position. We can hopefully use the experience gained on Sunday to challenge at the front of the field and score some points." 

Giuliano Alesi (20, France, car number 17), 11th and 10th place
"We have a tough weekend behind us. We showed that we have a lot of potential. Ultimately, however, a few obstacles meant we did not get the results we were hoping for. That is a real shame. Despite this, I am sure we will come back stronger in Silverstone."

Thomas Strick (Team Principal BWT HWA RACELAB)
"In such a fiercely-contested series as Formula 2, it is about gradually gaining experience and using that to consistently make progress. We made progress this weekend and are sure to find it easier in Silverstone, as far as the tyres are concerned - then we should be looking at better results."

Result of race one, Saturday 18th July:

1. R. Shwartzman                       PREMA Racing                           1:01:36.211
11. Giuliano Alesi                         BWT HWA RACELAB                   1:02:38.000
DNF Artem Markelov                  BWT HWA RACELAB                   DNF                                                

Result of race two, Sunday 19th July:

1. L. Ghiotto                                 Hitech Grand Prix                      45:04.725
10. Giuliano Alesi                         BWT HWA RACELAB                   45:44.008
14. Artem Markelov                     BWT HWA RACELAB                   45:56.458


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