• 21st and 15th place for Giuliano Alesi, DNS and 16th place for Artem Markelov
  • Giuliano Alesi: "The way we are working together gives me hope."
  • Artem Markelov: "The improvements were not enough."
  • Thomas Strick: “We must continue to work hard."
Spielberg, 12th July 2020 – At the start of a weekend dominated by extreme fluctuations in the weather, Giuliano Alesi (France) looked thoroughly competitive in free practice, which he ended as fifth fastest. However, it soon became clear in qualifying that BWT HWA RACELAB was in for two tough races in Spielberg: Artem Markelov (Russia) and Giuliano had to settle for 20th and 21st place on the grid.
Following heavy rainfall, it was uncertain for a long time whether the opening race of the weekend would actually take place at the circuit in the Styria region of Austria. The start was initially delayed and the field was due to set off on the formation lap on a wet track at 17:35 local time. The slippery surface proved Artem's undoing on the way to the grid for the formation lap. The Russian came off the track, damaging his car and ruling him out of the race. 

Once the field had completed the formation laps in persistent rain, race control decided to delay the start again, with the race eventually getting underway at 18:30 local time. The first four laps took place behind the safety car. Given the difficult conditions, Giuliano was faced with a virtually impossible task of making up ground from 21st on the grid. By the time he had also picked up a time penalty, it was just a question of completing the race and gathering more data.

The sun came out on Sunday, raising hopes of an easier race for BWT HWA RACELAB. Giuliano and Artem did fare a little better on the dry track. Giuliano initially showed good pace to climb into 15th place by the end of lap eight, until a collision with another car - caused by no fault of his own - halted his progress and saw him drop back through the field a little. This allowed Artem to pass the Frenchman, and the two team-mates became embroiled in a fascinating battle for 16th and 17th place, with the son of former Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi eventually coming out on top. The BWT HWA RACELAB duo ended the race in 15th (Giuliano) and 16th (Artem) place.  

The FIA Formula 2 Championship continues on 18th and 19th July with two races at the Hungaroring. 
Quotes on the race weekend 
Artem Markelov (25, Russia, car number 16), DNS and 16th place
"That was not really a satisfactory weekend for us. We worked hard to find a solution and improve the performance of the car. We did manage to make a few improvements, but they were not enough. We must now keep our chin up and go again next weekend."  
Giuliano Alesi (20, France, car number 17), 21st and 15th place
"That was definitely not the result we had hoped for this weekend. Our car was still absolutely competitive in free practice. We were then confronted by many problems, including some that were out of our hands – particularly in race two. We are already working on analysing and solving the individual issues, to make sure that we come back stronger in Budapest. The team spirit and the way we are working together gives me hope that we will do just that."
Thomas Strick (Team Principal BWT HWA RACELAB)
"We have a difficult weekend behind us. The persistent rain and long time spent waiting were a real test for us on the Saturday. We basically just have to continue to work hard to improve the performance of the car. We took a small step forward today, even if this was not reflected in the points."
Result of race one, Saturday 11th July:
1. R. Shwartzman     PREMA Racing 56:32.840
21. Giuliano Alesi     BWT HWA RACELAB 57:27.889
DNS Artem Markelov BWT HWA RACELAB  DNS     
Result of race two, Sunday 12th July:
1. C. Lundgaard ART Grand Prix 36:51.582
15. Giuliano Alesi BWT HWA RACELAB     37:33.403
16. Giuliano Alesi Artem Markelov       37:40.822