• 6th and 3rd place for Jake Hughes, 17th and 27th for Bent Viscaal, 19th and 22nd for Keyvan Andres
  • Fourth podium of the FIA Formula 3 season for HWA RACELAB
  • Bent Viscaal: "A disappointing weekend for me."
  • Jake Hughes: "To end the weekend with a podium, having started from 18th, is really encouraging."
  • Keyvan Andres: "All in all, a weekend of bumper cars."
  • Thomas Strick: "For us, as a new team, this is a fantastic success."

Monza, 8th September 2019 – The weather at the Monza Circuit made for unsettled conditions during the races in the FIA Formula 3 Championship. After a rainy Friday, the sun made an appearance on Saturday, before a heavy downpour on Sunday morning soaked the track again.

Jake Hughes (Great Britain) coped best with the wet surface. Starting from third on the grid, he made a perfect start, passing both cars in front of him and taking the lead at the head of the field. Some skilful manoeuvres allowed him to defend his lead in the opening laps. He then produced the fastest lap of the race so far on lap six to extend his advantage over the chasing pack. However, the track gradually began to dry out and, in different conditions, Jake was unable to maintain the impressive pace he had shown early on in the race. His pursuers closed in, and the Brit eventually lost his lead on lap 15. However, he refused to go down without a fight and, two laps later, attacked race leader Yuki Tsunoda (Jenzer Motorsport). Unfortunately, Tsunoda fended off Jake's attacks, and the HWA RACELAB driver also lost second place just one lap later. In the closing stages, Jake focussed on securing third place and claimed the fourth podium of the season for HWA RACELAB.

Team-mate Bent Viscaal (Netherlands) also made a strong start. He quickly worked his way through from 17th to 13th place. However, like Jake, he struggled on the drying track and was also unfortunate enough to be involved in two racing incidents. Bent first came had to leave the track whilst swerving to avoid a collision. Race control viewed this as an unfair advantage and punished him with a 5-second penalty. On lap 14, the Dutchman was hit from behind by a rival and spun out. From this point, the race was as good as over for Bent, who dropped back through the field and eventually finished 27th.

Keyvan Andres (Iran), who started from 19th on the grid, hovered around 20th place throughout the race. Some of the drivers towards the rear of the field struggled to adapt to the changing conditions, as the wet track started to dry out. This resulted in several minor collisions, which also affected Keyvan. In the end, he crossed the finish line in 22nd place.

Jake Hughes rewarded with points after impressive fightback on Saturday
Saturday began ominously. After qualifying, race control penalised several drivers for driving unnecessarily slowly. Jake and Bent were among those to be punished, forcing them to start the race from 18th and 28th place. However, the frustration soon gave way to determination, and Jake produced an outstanding start: the fastest lap at this stage of the race saw him climb eight places and into the points by the end of lap three. Jake maintained his fine pace and took advantage of mistakes made by rivals. He moved into eighth place on lap seven, before a Safety Car phase curtailed the action out on the track. When racing resumed, Jake made a conscious effort to secure his position and wait for a possible final offensive. However, that was not to be. After a spectacular crash - thankfully without any serious consequences - involving Alex Peroni (Campos Racing) in the car ahead of Jake, the race concluded behind the Safety Car. Jake came home seventh, before a penalty handed to a driver ahead of him saw him promoted to sixth place, earning him a further eight points for HWA RACELAB. With a total points haul of 18 points for the weekend, the team has tightened its grip on fifth place in the Team competition.

Bent also wasted little time in making up ground. He progressed from 28th on the grid to 24th place on the opening two laps. By the halfway point of the race, he was already as high as 21st. Thanks to a focussed and flawless drive, he had climbed ten places into 18th by the end of the race.

An impressive start saw Keyvan move from 16th to 12th place. However, he then lost ground whilst battling for position in the middle of the pack. Whilst running 15th, Keyvan was hit from behind by another car. Whilst he was able to continue, he visibly lost pace, fell back through the field and ended the race in 20th place.

The motto for this weekend's races in the FIA Formula 3 Championship was "Racing for Anthoine". The teams remembered Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert, who was killed in a crash last weekend, with a logo on their cars. The teams also expressed their support for Juan Manuel Correa, who was seriously injured in the crash in Spa, with the message "Stay strong JM".

Quotes on the race weekend

Bent Viscaal (19, Netherlands, car number 10), 17th and 27th place
"All in all, it was a disappointing weekend for me. Today, I was hit from behind and fell well back. After that, the race was over for me. On Saturday, the penalty meant I had to start from well down the grid. At least I made up a lot of places over the course of the race. Apart from that, it was a disappointing weekend."

Jake Hughes (25, Great Britain, car number 11), 6th and 3rd place
"It was a positive weekend, particularly with regard to the number of points we scored. We initially had very good pace in qualifying, until there were a few crazy actions and we fell back to 12th place. I was angry about the session itself, especially the penalty, which in my opinion was unfounded. That meant I had to start the race from 18th on the grid. I tried to remain positive on Saturday and to make it into the top eight. And I actually achieved that. We had very good pace and finished seventh. Fortunately, nothing serious happened to Alex Peroni in his crash. Following a penalty for one of the other drivers, I was promoted to sixth place and started today's race from third. I then took the lead, thanks to a very good start. The car was really good on the wet track, and I was able to open up a gap. It then became tougher as the track started to dry. I dropped two places and came home third. When you have led for so long, you are initially disappointed. However, when you consider that I started the opening race from 18th place, then it is really encouraging to end the weekend with a podium. I am now looking forward to Sochi and hope we can take another step forward. Our pace is really good, and we need to take advantage of that."

Keyvan Andres (19, Iran, car number 12), 19th and 22nd place
"I have another tough weekend behind me. It started in qualifying, when I was initially fourth after a good lap. Then we came into the pits earlier than the others and lost some positions. After that, the session was a mess. Everybody could see that. As such, I had to start Saturday's race from 20th place. I was then hit about ten times by other cars or forced over the kerbs. It was wet in race two, but I was hit several times again. All in all, a weekend of bumper cars."

Thomas Strick, Team Principal HWA RACELAB
"On the podium for the fourth time this season - for us, as a new team in Formula 3, that is a fantastic success. I would like to thank the whole team! The constantly changing weather made it hard work here. Jake's fightback on Saturday showed what a talented driver he is, and a phenomenal start paved the way for third place today. Bent and Keyvan were plagued by misfortune this weekend. Despite this, they also showed what they are capable of in phases. We are now looking forward to the grand finale in Sochi, where we will be looking for another strong team result."

Result of race 1, Saturday 7th September:
1. R. Shwartzman Prema Racing 42:46.627
6. Jake Hughes HWA RACELAB 42:51.184
17. Bent Viscaal HWA RACELAB 42:59.825
19. Keyvan Andres HWA RACELAB 43:04.477

Result of race 2, Sunday 8th September:
1. Y. Tsunoda Jenzer Motorsport 41:11.470
3. Jake Hughes HWA RACELAB 41:13.488
22. Keyvan Andres HWA RACELAB 41:50.312
27. Bent Viscaal HWA RACELAB 40:11.273+1 Lap

The final round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship takes place from 27th to 29th September in Sochi.