Mixed race weekend in Barcelona for BWT HWA RACELAB

BWT HWA RACELAB continues to lack pace in the FIA Formula 2 Championship. The weekend in Barcelona was a mixture of positives and set-backs. Giuliano Alesi (France) demonstrated his talent with the fastest lap of the race on Sunday.

  • 12th and 16th place for Artem Markelov, DNF and 19th place for Giuliano Alesi
  • Giuliano Alesi sets the fastest lap of the race on Sunday
  • Artem Markelov: "We have to keep our chin up and do our best."
  • Giuliano Alesi: "We are trying to establish what is the best package for us."
  • Thomas Strick: "It is still an exercise in patience."

Barcelona, 16th August 2020 – The start of the weekend at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya saw Artem Markelov (Russia) continue the upwards trend he showed signs of in the last race in Silverstone. With the sixth-fastest time in free practice and eleventh place in qualifying, he was not all that far away from top-ten times and was optimistic going into Saturday's race. However, he lost two places in the opening metres of the 4.655-kilometre track. Only after a safety car phase did Artem finally find his rhythm and regain one of those positions. BWT HWA RACELAB once again opted for a long first stint on hard tyres, while many others came in early for their tyre change. For a long time, Artem coped very well on the hard tyres and was involved in an exciting pursuit of Dan Ticktum (DAMS) ahead of him. Only in the second half of the race did Artem's tyres start to wear, and he subsequently came into the pits. The former runner-up in Formula 2 rejoined the race in 13th place. However, he was passed by several opponents and dropped back to 17th place when he briefly lost the rear of his car. He tried to make up ground on fresh tyres, and did manage to fight back into 14th place. Artem was ultimately classified in 12th place, following time penalties awarded to other drivers.

Artem did not get off to an ideal start on Sunday, and lost three places. He then found himself in another battle with Ticktum, which lasted several laps. On day three of racing, the track was already very dirty, and many teams - including BWT HWA RACELAB - struggled with the durability of the hard tyres. Artem did set consistent lap times for much of the race, but he was lacking the pace to really push for a points finish. He was running 12th until the penultimate lap. However, shortly before the finish he was passed by four drivers on fresh soft tyres. As a result, Artem crossed the finish line in 16th place.

Giuliano Alesi (France) could not find any pace in qualifying and had to settle for 21st place on the grid. In Saturday's race, he found his rhythm after an early safety car phase and initially climbed into 18th place. After that, however, he struggled to maintain that pace and his tyres started to degrade. To make matters worse, Giuliano was unlucky on lap 26 when he was hit by another car, ended up on the kerbs, and was unable to continue.

Giuliano's run of misfortune continued on Sunday, when lady luck deserted him and his engine failed at the start of the formation lap. This meant the 20-year-old had to start the race from the pit lane. Like a number of other drivers, he found himself struggling with the durability of his tyres and so, despite it not being mandatory in a sprint race, he decided to come in for a pit stop on lap 20. On a fresh set of soft tyres, Giuliano demonstrated his potential with the fastest lap of the race. Despite this, the son of former Formula 1 driver, Jean Alesi, was unable to climb any higher than 19th place.

Quotes on the race weekend

Artem Markelov (25, Russia, car number 16), 12th and 16th place
"Our weekend could have been better. I can be relatively happy with the Saturday race, as I had good pace for much of it. Generally speaking, however, we still have a problem that is not easy to solve. We keep finding small details, but are yet to make the big breakthrough. We must still keep our chin up and do our best."

Giuliano Alesi (20, France, car number 17), DNF and 19th place
"We are still not getting the results we are hoping for. There are still things that need improving. That goes for me as a driver, as well as the set-up. We are all working together to find a solution, and to try to establish what is the best package for us for the coming races." 

Thomas Strick (Team Principal BWT HWA RACELAB)
"We have a tiring weekend behind us, with difficult track conditions on Sunday. It remains an exercise in patience. After we saw some positives on Friday and Saturday, particularly with Artem, we suffered another minor set-back on Sunday. We are currently trying to master the trick of transforming the set-up into a functioning package. The drivers continue to show their potential, as Giuliano did with the fastest lap of the race on Sunday. It is important to focus on the positives and to continue to work resolutely as a team."

Result of race one, Saturday 15th August:
1. Matsushita                                            MP Motorsport                         1:02.14.783
12. Artem Markelov                                   BWT HWA RACELAB                  1:02.25.335
DNF Giuliano Alesi                                     BWT HWA RACELAB                  DNF                              

Result of race two, Sunday 16th August:
1. Drugovich                                                MP Motorsport                         41:55.669
16. Artem Markelov                                     BWT HWA RACELAB                  42:41.287
19. Giuliano Alesi                                         BWT HWA RACELAB                  42:50.405


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
E-mail:     a.hoersch@hwaag.com