• Two 13th-place finishes for Bent Viscaal, 17th position and a retirement through no fault of his own for Jake Hughes, 28th and 18th for Keyvan Andres
  • Strong practice performance from Jake Hughes
  • Bent Viscaal: “We are making great progress with the car.”
  • Jake Hughes: “We would have had the pace to reach the podium.”
  • Keyvan Andres: “Mixed feelings after this weekend.”
  • Thomas Strick: “We are right up there in terms of pace.”

Barcelona, 12th May 2019 – A momentous occasion for HWA RACELAB at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona: the team completed its very first Formula 3 races at the FIA Formula 3 Championship season-opener. The two 13th-place finishes for Bent Viscaal (Netherlands) represented a good result.

Bent had started Saturday’s 40-minute race from 16th position and recorded consistent lap times before crossing the line in 14th place. This result was revised to 13th after investigations by race control. In the second race on Sunday, Bent repeated his performance from the previous day, producing another solid performance to finish 13th once again.

Keyvan Andres (Iran) had to start from the pit lane on Saturday after a collision on the warm-up lap and was unable to improve on 28th place. However, Keyvan put on a strong performance in the second race on Sunday: he started 28th on the grid and moved up gradually to 21st. He then improved by a further three positions thanks to a fast final lap, finishing the race in 18th place.

Jake Hughes (Great Britain) endured an unhappy weekend. He had made a promising start with the fifth-best time in Friday’s practice session. However, problems with the DRS meant that he could only reach 29th in qualifying. A bold chasing performance on Saturday saw him move up to 17th place. On Sunday, a four-car collision at the first corner saw his race ended through no fault of his own. He slid off into the gravel trap and was unable to continue.

Reactions to the race weekend

Bent Viscaal (19, Netherlands, #10), two 13th places
“I am happy with the results, that was really good for the first-ever races in Formula 3 even though we still have some work to do. It was difficult to overtake in both races but it was fun. We are making great progress with the car and I am already looking forward to the next race.”

Jake Hughes (24, Great Britain, #11), 17th place and DNF
“It's a pity that the weekend went like that for me. We would have had really good pace; you saw that in the practice session and in the first race on Saturday. I think we would even have had the pace for a podium finish this weekend. But the DRS problems in qualifying pretty much meant that my weekend was over. It's difficult starting from 29th place. And then I had that unfortunate incident in today's race. I got hit from behind just after the start and didn't have a chance. That's annoying but we saw that we have a strong car and we can look ahead positively to the next race.”

Keyvan Andres (19, Iran, #12), 28th and 18th places
“I have mixed feelings after this weekend. Qualifying was tough and then I made a frustrating error on the formation lap which meant that my race was pretty much over. The second race went much better and I had fun out there on the track. In general, I am satisfied with today’s result. The pace was very good and I couldn’t have done much better from that starting position.”

Thomas Strick, Team Principal HWA RACELAB
“Firstly, we are happy with our Formula 3 race debut. We made the top 20 with two cars in both races and that's OK for the very first race. The lads did a good job. Of course, not everything went as we had hoped. But we are right up there in terms of pace. That was especially clear to see during Jake’s practice session and with his chasing performance in the first race. I feel sorry for him. Who knows what he could have achieved from a better grid position on Saturday? But we can't change that now. Essentially, we can be optimistic as we look forward to the second race weekend. We have a long break now, which we can use for analysis and detailed preparation.”

Result of 1st race on Saturday 11th May:
1. Robert Shwartzman PREMA Racing 37:42.312
13. Bent Viscaal HWA RACELAB 38:11.660
17. Jake Hughes HWA RACELAB 38:14.519
28. Keyvan Andres HWA RACELAB 39:09.724

Result of 2nd race on Sunday 12th May:
1. Jehan Daruvala PREMA Racing 40:29.021
13. Bent Viscaal HWA RACELAB 40:47.176
18. Keyvan Andres HWA RACELAB 40:53.477

The next races in the FIA Formula 3 Championship will take place on 22nd and 23rd June at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet.