The HWA RACELAB team tasted success at the opening round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Matteo Nannini (Italy) finished third in the number 14 car in race three of the weekend. In doing so, the 17-year-old driver from the Affalterbach-based team underlined his great talent.   

  • Third place for Matteo Nannini in race three at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya 
  • Matteo Nannini: "We have the speed to challenge at the top of the championship."
  • Thomas Strick: "The podium shows us that we are on the right track."


Affalterbach, 10th May 2021 – Matteo Nannini (Italy) laid the foundations for his podium on Friday. He set the fourth-fastest time in qualifying for the third of the three 40-minute races. 

Matteo looked on course for the podium in race two on Saturday afternoon, as he led the race for six laps. However, with one lap remaining and victory in his sights, he was hit by the car behind as it attempted to pass him. The resulting damage caused the Italian to retire. 

Unfazed by all that, Matteo made a superb start on Sunday. He was the fastest out of the blocks and had pulled level with the leader by the entrance to turn one. Matteo slotted into third place, before climbing into second on lap three. At the midway point of the race, he was passed by a rival. However, he continued to drive a flawless race and, after 22 laps, brought the car home in third place. This was the second Formula 3 podium of the 17-year-old's career, having also finished third in Barcelona last season - albeit with a different team.

Matteo's team-mates Oliver Rasmussen (Denmark) and Rafael Villagomez (Mexico) both claimed two top-20 finishes on the opening weekend. The FIA Formula 3 Championship continues from 25th to 27th June with three races in Le Castellet (France).  

Quotes on the race weekend

Matteo Nannini (17, Italy, car number 14)     
"We have shown that we have the speed to challenge at the top of the Formula 3 Championship. For me, that is the most important thing we can take from this weekend. I was delighted with the third place in race three on Sunday - particularly after the disappointment of race two, when I was taken out with one lap to go and victory in my sights. I had a very good start in race three and almost led going into the first corner. However, after the incident in race two, I decided not to take too many risks. A few laps later, I was up into second place. As the race progressed, we didn't quite have the pace to match the leaders, but I was able to control the race through to the finish and came home in third place. In total, we scored 16 valuable points towards the championship and can head to the next races full of confidence."  

Thomas Strick, team principal HWA RACELAB
"It is incredibly important for the whole team to finish on the podium at the very first race weekend in Formula 3. It shows us that we have done a good job in preparation and are on the right track. I am particularly pleased for Matteo with his third place. He did not let the set-back in race two get him down, and got his just reward. Oliver and Rafael do not yet have as much experience as Matteo at this level. However, they are both extremely keen to learn. If the whole team continues to work as it did on the opening weekend, they too will enjoy success over the course of the season."