Mercedes-affiliated company, HWA is expected to make their plans to enter ABB FIA Formula E Championship next season public just before next month’s Berlin ePrix. If this does indeed happen, this will mean that the Season Five Formula E grid will grow to 22 cars.
HWA’s expected entry for Season Five is so they can learn the Gen2 Formula E car before the German manufacturer makes their entry in Season Six alongside Porsche.
HWA will run as a customer next season, with Venturi being the likely partner for the team with many HWA engineers already working with the Monegasque team since Hong Kong so they can soak up as much knowledge and experience before their entry this December.
Regarding the driver market for the expected HWA entry, Venturi drivers Edoardo Mortara and Maro Engel will be appealing given their Formula E experience. However, both drivers are yet to test the Gen2 Formula E car, with the final public test expected to take place at Donington Park in October. Other drivers HWA can draw on include FIA Formula 2 racer Max Gunther and DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) stars such as Pascal Wehrelin, Lucas Auer, Gary Paffett and Paul Di Resta.
Beyond next season, it is not currently known whether HWA will continue to run or have involvement in the full Mercedes effort in 2019, but speculation is that HWA will operationally run the team, liaising with Mercedes High Performance Powertrains factory in Northamptonshire.
HWA CEO Ulrich Fritz will be in Paris this weekend to finalize the plans for the launch, announcing the team’s entry in Formula E next season by the next round at Berlin.
The degree to which Mercedes will be able to benefit from HWA’s entry next season may be limited however, as a customer of Venturi, they will be limited to just the official pre-season test and filming days compared to 15 days allowed for the manufacturer teams as per the Formula E regulations.