HWA Impress on Formula 2 testing debut

by Joe Ellis

German junior team HWA Racelab got their first taste of FIA Formula 2 when they took part in the three-day post-season test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

They took over the cars used by the outgoing BWT Arden team with whom they had a technical partnership in 2019.

HWA is one of just three teams to have confirmed their line-up for the 2020 season as Russian F2 veteran Artem Markelov will be joined by Frenchman Guiliano Alesi.

Both drivers had all three days of the test to learn the car, team and setup and there were no signs of the team being the newbies as with both Markelov and Alesi achieving top five positions in at least one session over the three days.

Artem Markelov has nine victories in GP2/F2 and will be hoping to make it to double figures with HWA in 2020. Credit: FIA Formula 2

Markelov, however, proved his experience in finishing every session ahead of his young teammate.

He said: “The tests went really well and we ended them with good results. We tried out a lot with the car – things that would not be possible during a race weekend, particularly with regard to the set-up.

“However, we were also able to do some start practice and qualifying runs. The team has supplied us with a lot of information. The tests give me confidence that we will be totally competitive in the coming season.”

Markelov and Alesi didn’t just show speed, they also completed 330 laps with no major technical issues to speak of which will be highly encouraging to the engineers and mechanics who had a much easier time than others.

20-year-old Guiliano Alesi will be going into his second F2 season with half a dozen points finishes to his name in 2019. Credit: FIA Formula 2

Alesi said: “I am very happy with the tests. We have found a lot of answers to outstanding issues and collected a lot of data, which can now be analysed during the winter. I have settled into the new team very nicely.

“It is fun to work with BWT HWA RACELAB. I am now looking forward to relaxing a little, and then to the new season, of course.”

Having been competitive in FIA Formula 3 in their debut season in 2019, HWA will be confident that similar fortunes await them in 2020.

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