Drafted in for a two-round street race stint at HWA RACELAB, Jack Aitken’s influence off the track will be just as important as the number of points he scores on it, with the 25-year-old hailing the team’s “huge desire to be at the front of F2.”
Officially joining the grid ahead of the 2020 campaign, HWA haven’t yet hit the heights they expected of themselves at this level. Despite steady progress, the Germans have scored just 14 points since their debut last year.
Intent on working through their difficulties and towards fighting for podium and wins, HWA moved to secure the British driver’s race-winning expertise for Rounds 2 and 3, following the departure of Matteo Nannini.
“I hope that I can help them a bit,” said Aitken. “They are a new team to F2, but a team with a lot of history in other series, and they have a huge desire to be at the front of F2, not anywhere else.
“They have put a lot of faith in me, to bring me in for these two races. For sure, my experience will help, but sometimes it’s as simple as saying ‘no, this is good,’ rather than pointing out a load of things that need to be changed.
“I’m just settling in and getting to know the team, the engineers and everybody, but so far, so good.”
A four-time winner at this level, Aitken was one of just four drivers with prior experience in a Formula 2 car around the streets of Monaco, allowing him to quickly settle into his new surroundings.
Despite a disappointing qualifying session, where he classified 21st, Aitken quickly got to grips with the HWA, finishing 16th and 10th in the two Sprint Races, only narrowly missing out on what would have been the team’s second point of the year.
“It was pretty tough (to step in at Monaco), but I didn’t have a choice,” said Aitken. “The team have been pretty good with helping me to get back into the processes and now I feel quite comfortable. It’s just a shame that the weekend in Monaco revolves around Thursday afternoon quali.
“But to go from P21 to P10 at the end of the second Sprint Race is pretty good and gives us a good foundation to start fresh in Baku, where I think there will be some good racing.”
Highlighting the individuality of Monaco, Aitken believes the work they do in Baku will be much more beneficial to both the short and long-term goals of HWA, but he acknowledged the importance of Monaco in getting him up to speed.
“Monaco is so unique because it is a street track in the purest sense,” explained Aitken. “Baku has a little bit more high speed to it, so it is a bit more representative of the rest of the tracks that the team will see this year. So, I think it will be a good place to get some good feedback on the car and see where we are at.
“Honestly, the signs this weekend were pretty positive already. We’re not making crazy changes to the car and we are quick. We were just out of position for the races unfortunately. We will have a little sit-down between the races, probably on Zoom, and just see where we start in Baku on Friday.”