HWA Racelab has difficult race weekend at Belgian GP

HWA Racelab has difficult race weekend at Belgian GP

01.09.2019: The sixth round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship in Spa was overshadowed by the fatal accident of Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert at the same track on Saturday. The b

The sixth round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship in Spa was overshadowed by the fatal accident of Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert at the same track on Saturday. The best results for HWA RACELAB in the two races at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps went to Keyvan Andres (Iran) and Bent Viscaal (Netherlands), who both finished in 14th place after strong pursuits. Jake Hughes (Great Britain) was extremely unlucky, involved in a collision through no fault of his own on both days.  


•    Sunday’s race in memory of fatally injured Anthoine Hubert

•    21st place and DNF for Jake Hughes, 20th and 14th place for Bent Viscaal, 14th and 16th place for Keyvan Andres

•    Best time in Free Practice for Jake Hughes

•    Jake Hughes: “Anthoine was one of the best drivers I ever had the privilege of seeing on the track.”

•    Thomas Strick: “In light of the tragic news from Formula 2, the results this weekend are secondary.”

At the sixth round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship, sport faded into the background. The two races were overshadowed by the fatal accident of Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert (BWT Arden) on Saturday. HWA RACELAB, technical partner of BWT Arden in the Formula 2 championship, commemorated the tragic accident with the lettering #RIPAnthoine on the cars’ HALO on Sunday.

The weekend got off to a promising start from HWA’s perspective: In the free practice session on Friday, Jake Hughes (Great Britain) appeared to be wide awake after the summer break and secured first place. In the following qualifying session, he finished in fifth place, which saw him in a good starting position for the race on Saturday. However, a collision that was no fault of his own saw Jake drop down to 29th place in the first turn.

He went on to show morale and fought his way back up the field position by position. After he had moved up into 26th place on lap seven, he overtook four rivals within a short space of time just minutes later, and moved up into 22nd place. Another manoeuvre saw Jack end up in 21st place.

Meanwhile, Keyvan Andres (Iran) drove a strong race after starting from 22nd on the grid. The 19-year-old got off to a good start and made up four positions right at the start, before he found himself in 16th place on the second lap. He went on to maintain a consistently good pace and defended his position against his rivals. Towards the end of the race, Keyvan went on the attack again and moved up another two places – this saw the German-Iranian end up in 14th place.

Bent Viscaal (Netherlands) also delivered a fighting performance. Starting the race from 16th on the grid, he lost a position in the opening laps, but was able to make this up again soon after and moved up into 15th place after a cleverly times overtaking manoeuvre. However, he was forced to give way as the race went on, and dropped down into 21st place. Bent ended up crossing the finish line of the track in the Belgian Ardennes in 20th place.

In contrast, Bent did better in the second race. While the 19-year-old found himself in 25th place again after messing up at the start – he was, however, subsequently able to keep on exerting pressure on those in front of him and regained his starting position, 20th place, on lap three already. After an extended safety car period, Bent maintained his good pace and moved up into 16th place soon after, before two further overtaking manoeuvres saw him cross the finish line in 14th place.

A solid start saw Keyvan defend his starting position of 14th over the initial laps, but he was forced to let rivals past as time went on and dropped down into 16th place. He stayed in this position until lap 9, before he increased the pressure and moved up into 13th place. Keyvan ended the race – after eventful closing laps – in 16th place.

In contrast, the second race was disappointing for Jake. After a good start from 21st on the grid, the 25-year-old quickly made up three places and even ranked 16th after the long safety car period, which lasted a total of four laps. However, shortly afterwards his car was hit from behind, just like in the race on Saturday. This brought Jake’s race to end, once again through no fault of his own.

Quotes on the race weekend 

Bent Viscaal (19, Netherlands, car number 10), position 20 and 14

“I almost stalled the engine at the start today and unfortunately dropped down into 25th place. Then the race was very eventful, I ended up moving up the field into 14th place. So, if I hadn’t had the problems at the start, I could have moved further up the field. That’s why I’m happy with how the race went and my performance on Sunday, I’m just a little bit annoyed about the start.”

Jake Hughes (25, Great Britain, car number 11), position 21 and DNF

“We showed enormous potential at the weekend – but we were unable to capitalise on it and came away empty-handed. We were the fastest in the practice session, we had the chance to get pole position. But the qualifying was one of the craziest that I have ever seen. So fifth place was  a little frustrating since pole position would have been possible. The first race had hardly started when I was involved in a collision and was forced to join the back of the grid through no fault of my own. I was able to move up a few positions, but I couldn’t improve on 21st position.

Then, in the second race I was able to move up a few positions again from 21st on the grid. But after the safety car phase the same thing happened as yesterday and I was rammed by another driver once again. It’s a shame because we had a really good pace. But it all fades into the background with the events of yesterday. I still can’t quite believe what happened. Anthoine was one of the best drivers I ever had the privilege of seeing on the track. I am very grateful to have been able to call him a friend. We will all miss him a great deal.”

Keyvan Andres (19, Iran, car number 12), position 14 and 16

“First of all, I’d like to express my sincere sympathy to Anthoine’s family after the tragic events yesterday. It affected the whole paddock, the whole world of motorsport. The race weekend started well for me with P11 in Free Practice. But then qualifying was chaotic with a lot of traffic.

With just one fast lap, it wasn’t possible to do better than 22nd on the grid. But in race 1 I came back strongly and moved up a few places. Today, I had a strong start, then I was unable to stay on the racing line on a few laps and dropped down the field again. I had trouble controlling the rear today, which is why things didn’t go as well as yesterday.”

Thomas Strick, Team Principal HWA RACELAB

“There are more important things in life than sport. In light of the tragic news from Formula 2, the results this weekend are secondary. Our sincere sympathy goes to Anthoine’s family and friends, and everyone at BWT Arden. We wish Juan Manuel Correa a speedy recovery and a prompt return to the racetrack.

 We were very unlucky in the races and soon had to give up on our hope of bringing home our third podium in a row. I would like to say a big thanks to the guys. It wasn’t an easy situation for them today, racing after the events yesterday.”

Result of race one, Saturday 31st August:

1.    Pedro Piquet          Trident           37:40.863       
14.    Keyvan Andres    HWA RACELAB    38:16.614          
20.    Bent Viscaal       HWA RACELAB    38:23.166     
21.    Jake Hughes      HWA RACELAB    38:23.870

Result of race two, Sunday 01st September:

1.    Marcus Armstrong     Prema Racing    42:03.504
14.    Bent Viscaal     HWA RACELAB        42:22.008
16.    Keyvan Andres    HWA RACELAB    42:23.895
DNF    Jake Hughes        HWA RACELAB        DNF


The next races in the FIA Formula 3 Championship will be held in Monza (6th-8th September).

Annette Hörsch,  photos HWA


01.09.2019 / MaP

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