• 6th place and DNF for Giuliano Alesi, DNF and 18th place for Artem Markelov
  • Giuliano Alesi: "We must now take the positives from this weekend and continue to work hard."
  • Artem Markelov: "The strategy in race one on Saturday was excellent."
  • Thomas Strick: "We have a lot of work ahead of us over the coming days."

Spielberg, 5th July 2020 – The grid positions for Saturday's opening race of the season were far from ideal for BWT HWA RACELAB, after technical issues in qualifying meant Giuliano Alesi (France) and Artem Markelov (Russia) had to settle for 18th and 20th place. However, Giuliano made a blistering start on the 4.318-kilometre circuit, making up eight positions on the opening lap. The team opted for a late pit stop - a strategy that ultimately paid dividends. At the halfway point of the race, Giuliano and Artem led the field for BWT HWA RACELAB, until both drivers came in for fresh tyres and consequently dropped down the standings. While Markelov was forced to retire with a technical issue shortly after returning to the track, Alesi produced an impressive display after the subsequent safety car phase. Now on fresh, soft tyres, he left several rivals in his wake and eventually crossed the finish line in sixth place after one hour of racing. In doing so, the son of former Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi presented the team with its first points on its debut in the FIA Formula 2 Championship.

That result saw Giuliano start Sunday's sprint from third place. However, he was not to experience more success. His car came to a stop with engine damage on lap one.

Artem once again enjoyed no luck in the race. Damage to his front wing, following a collision, forced him back into the pits. He was unable to make up the time lost through the repairs, meaning the former Formula 2 runner-up had to settle for 18th place.

The FIA Formula 2 Championship continues with another two races in Spielberg on 11th and 12th July.

Quotes on the race weekend 

Artem Markelov (25, Russia, car number 16), DNF and 18th place
"We started really well in free practice, but had a few issues with the set-up of the car in qualifying. That made it difficult to get a top result. The strategy in race one was excellent. We were consistently fighting our way through the field until I was stopped by a problem with the throttle. I made a poor start in race two, which cost me a number of positions. After the damage to my front wing, we decided to come into the pits and then to rejoin the race. Despite all that, we learned some important lessons with regard to how the car reacts to any changes we make. I hope I can put the information I have received from the team into practice, and am looking forward to next weekend."

Giuliano Alesi (20, France, car number 17), 6th place and DNF
"It was a weekend of highs and lows for us. We had technical issues in qualifying, but made up for that with a perfect pit stop strategy on Saturday. The pace was really good in the opening race. Unfortunately, race two came to a very quick end for me. I did not even manage one lap, as I was stopped in my tracks by a damaged engine. We must now take the positives out of the weekend and continue to work hard, in order to improve over the course of the season."

 Thomas Strick (Team Principal BWT HWA RACELAB)
“We are pleased with our first points in Formula 2 with BWT HWA RACELAB, but still have a lot of work ahead of us in the coming days. The key to scoring points on Saturday was the combination of an impressive drive, with an outstanding start, and a good team strategy. When everything comes together like that, you can pull off a fightback like the one we saw from Giuliano. However, we are not satisfied with the overall result of the weekend. We still have a lot to do, in order to iron out the issues that arose."