• 18th and 11th place for Artem Markelov, 19th and 18th for Giuliano Alesi
  • Giuliano Alesi: "It was a tough weekend for us."
  • Artem Markelov: "I had a decent start in race two and was able to close the gap to the man in front of me." 
  • Thomas Strick: "As soon as we manage to find the optimal tyre set-up, we will take a great leap forward."
Silverstone, 2nd August 2020 – The race weekend at the Silverstone Circuit started badly for Giuliano Alesi (France). Before the tyres were up to their ideal temperature, he skidded off the track at the start of free practice and was unable to continue. This meant he was unable to get as many practice laps of the 5.891-kilometre circuit under his belt as his rivals. Like team-mate Artem Markelov (Russia), he was unable to challenge the front-runners in qualifying. The two BWT HWA RACELAB drivers had to settle for 20th and 21st place on the grid. 
Giuliano made a good start in Saturday's race, and climbed into 16th place in the opening laps. He then dropped behind his team-mate Artem, who had also made up ground and positions at the start of the race. The pace was good at first, raising hopes that a late pit stop strategy may allow the BWT HWA RACELAB duo to make progress through the field. Ten laps into the race, they were running ninth and tenth. However, the tyres had already begun to wear significantly by the halfway point of the 29-lap race, and Artem and Giuliano instead had to focus on fighting off the attacks of their rivals behind them. This did produce a few remarkable defensive manoeuvres - but they were ultimately in vain for both drivers. The duo came into the pits for their tyre change on laps 17 and 18. Once the round of pit stops had been completed, they found themselves back down in 19th and 21st place. They were no longer able to make up much ground, even on a fresh set of medium tyres. Artem and Giuliano eventually crossed the finish line in 18th and 19th place. 
There were contrasting fortunes for Artem and Giuliano at the start of Sunday's race: while Artem, who started from 18th on the grid, was able to overtake two rivals in the first few corners, Giuliano had a disastrous start. He had to start from the pit lane, fell to the back of the field, and round himself a lap off the pace from the word go. Artem, on the other hand, was increasing his advantage over the cars behind as the race progressed, until the safety car made an appearance on lap 17 and the lively hustle and bustle in the field calmed down a little. Artem went into the closing stages in 15th place and on a fresh set of tyres, and pulled off some well-timed overtaking manoeuvres. A fascinating battle for the top ten ensued, in which Artem was again able to make up ground and eventually finished eleventh. Giuliano, whose big deficit at the start meant he was unable to make much progress through the field, came home 18th.
The FIA Formula 2 Championship continues on 8th and 9th August with a further two races in Silverstone. 
Quotes on the race weekend 
Artem Markelov (25, Russia, car number 16), 18th and 11th place
"I made up a few positions in the opening laps of Saturday's race. It felt as though we had managed to get the tyre up to temperature this time. However, a few laps later they started to wear. That is the big difference compared to those at the front of the field. It is something we need to continue to work on. I had a decent start in race two and was able to close the gap to the man in front of me and consistently put him under pressure. If we could now solve the issue with the tyres, it would really help us."  
Giuliano Alesi (20, France, car number 17), 19th and 18th place
"It was a tough weekend for us. We did not manage to get the results we were aiming for. We learned a lot this weekend and will come back stronger next weekend. We must now analyse the races, in order to ensure we deliver at the next race weekend. I am looking forward to it."
Thomas Strick (Team Principal BWT HWA RACELAB)
"At the moment, we are facing two challenges: on the one hand our qualifying pace, on the other hand we are not managing to keep the hard tyres in their performance window for long enough in the races. We are working hard to solve this issue. As soon as we manage that, we will take a bit leap forward. Giuliano and Artem undoubtedly have great potential, as they keep proving in individual scenes." 
Result of race one, Saturday 1st August:
1. N. Mazepin     Hitech Grand Prix 51:17.953
18. Artem Markelov      BWT HWA RACELAB 52:11.481
19. Giuliano Alesi BWT HWA RACELAB 52:18.532        
Result of race two, Sunday 2nd August:
1. D. Ticktum     DAMS 39:50.019
11. Artem Markelov BWT HWA RACELAB     40:07.436
18. Giuliano Alesi BWT HWA RACELAB   40:11.387