• HWA RACELAB drivers feature in the top ten of individual sessions on three occasions
  • Bent Viscaal: "The trend is definitely a positive one."
  • Jake Hughes: "We are already capable of performing at a very high level."
  • Thomas Strick: "We have seen that we can match the times at the front of the field."

Barcelona, 10th April 2019 – The official FIA Formula 3 tests, which took place at Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday and Wednesday, represented a new challenge for HWA RACELAB and its three drivers: The conditions at the circuit in Barcelona were significantly more difficult than at the first tests, which were held at Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet in March. Multiple showers repeatedly soaked the track, meaning the teams frequently had to switch between slicks and wet tyres.

Jake Hughes completed 41 laps on a dry track on Tuesday morning. As in Le Castellet, he clocked the fourth-fastest time (1:33.199 min.) of the 30-strong field. Ahead of the afternoon session, a short but heavy shower resulted in a wet track, while rain also prevented fast lap times on Wednesday. Faced with a wet surface, the HWA RACELAB drivers were unable to match Hughes' fastest time over the course of the remaining test sessions. However, the Brit and team-mate Bent Viscaal did both finish in the top ten on Wednesday afternoon in sixth and seventh place respectively.

The third and final test is scheduled for next week (17th to 18th April) at the Hungaroring, before this season's FIA Formula 3 Championship kicks off in Barcelona from 10th to 12th May. HWA RACELAB is one of ten teams in the newly-formed series. Each team lines up with three cars. Featuring on the support programme to the Formula 1 World Championship, a total of 16 races will be held over the course of eight weekends.

Bent Viscaal (19, Netherlands, car number 10)
"We showed that we are on our way to finding a good set-up, particularly in the session on Wednesday afternoon. Sure, we have the odd issue, but we still have time to work on them before the start of the season. The trend is definitely a positive one."

Jake Hughes (24, Great Britain, car number 11)
"We carried on here where we left off at Circuit Paul Ricard. The opening race will also take place in Barcelona, so it was good to have a test here. I already know where I have to improve as a driver. The car is definitely capable of a fast lap, we have shown that. It is now all about ensuring that we are also among the front-runners on the long stints. We are aware that we still have a lot to learn, as a new team, but we are already capable of performing at a very high level."

Thomas Strick, Team Principal HWA RACELAB
"These were two very valuable days for us, particularly as the season-opener will also take place here. This gave our drivers the opportunity to get to know the circuit. The conditions, which alternated between a dry and wet surface, were not easy. However, the very same thing could happen to us again in the course of the season. As such, we are happy to learn from this experience. We have seen that we are capable of matching the times at the front of the field. That gives us a lot of hope looking ahead to the season. It is now important to be just as focussed in the final tests next week, and to prepare systematically for the opening weekend."

Results of the tests in Barcelona:

Tuesday morning:
1. Leonardo Pulcini Hitech Grand Prix 1:33.007
4. Jake Hughes HWA RACELAB 1:33.199
17. Bent Viscaal HWA RACELAB 1:33.870
28. Keyvan Andres HWA RACELAB 1:34.851

Tuesday afternoon:
1. Felipe Drugovich Carlin Buzz Racing 1:33.284
18. Jake Hughes HWA RACELAB 1:34.906
20. Bent Viscaal HWA RACELAB 1:34.955
24. Keyvan Andres HWA RACELAB 1:36.929

Wednesday morning:
1. Leonardo Pulcini Hitech Grand Prix 1:32.222
18. Bent Viscaal HWA RACELAB 1:33.296
25. Keyvan Andres HWA RACELAB 1:34.211
28. Jake Hughes HWA RACELAB 1:34.732

Wednesday afternoon:
1. Lirim Zendeli Sauber Junior Team by Charouz 1:33.703
6. Jake Hughes HWA RACELAB 1:34.106
7. Bent Viscaal HWA RACELAB 1:34.108
14. Keyvan Andres HWA RACELAB 1:34.756