HWA supplies HitechGP with the Mercedes-Benz Formula 3 engine that powers its drivers towards the chequered flag.
HWA AG was founded in 1998 as a spin-off from AMG, which was established in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht. HWA AG was established as the Mercedes Benz customisation specialist.
Towards the end of 1998 Aufrecht sold a majority interest in AMG Motorenbau und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, as it then was, to DaimlerChrysler AG. In the process of disposal, motor racing – what is today the AMG-Mercedes Team in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) – and parts of the customised vehicles construction business were spun off and transferred to HWA AG.
The vehicles and vehicle components business develops and builds sports cars for Daimler AG and Mercedes-AMG GmbH. In addition to its DTM racing team, since 2003 HWA has developed, manufactured and serviced racing engines for the Formula 3 European Championship and the British Formula 3 Series.
Mercedes-Benz in Formula 3
The first Mercedes-Benz Formula 3 engine, named M271, was developed from the production engine of the C-Class and E-Class. The engine made its debut in the opening race of the 2002 German Formula 3 Championship at Hockenheim. Markus Winkelhock, who later became a DTM and Formula 1 driver, claimed the first victory for the Formula 3 engine at the Nürburgring in 2002. Between 2003 and 2012, drivers with Mercedes-Benz engines won seven out of nine possible drivers’ titles in the Formula 3 Euro Series. The FIA Formula 3 Championship has been contested since 2013. So far, the title has gone to drivers and teams powered by Mercedes.
The Mercedes-Benz F3 414 is based on fundamentally new engine regulations for the 2014 season that no longer prescribe the use of an engine from a production model. The F3 414 is a thoroughbred racing engine with four cylinders, a maximum capacity of two litres and direct injection. Under FIA regulations, the air restrictor has been increased in size from 26 to 28 mm, resulting in higher output: The Mercedes-Benz Formula 3 engine now develops well over 200bhp. Like its predecessor, the unit was developed by Mercedes-Benz motorsport partner HWA AG.
Nurturing young talent
Mercedes-Benz has a long tradition of developing young racing talent. During their time in Formula 3, a number of drivers, including reigning Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton (MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS), four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and the youngest winner of a race in DTM history, Pascal Wehrlein, all utilised Mercedes-Benz engines. Austrian Lucas Auer is the 17th driver to move up into the DTM after competing in Formula 3 in a car powered by a Mercedes engine. New opportunities for nurturing young drivers in a systematic manner have now opened up in the AMG Customer Sports Programme since its successful introduction. The best illustration of this is the switch that Maximilian Götz has made from the gullwing race model to the Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM.