This weekend will mark HWA Racelab’s entry into Formula E, with the German-based team heading to the Ad Diriyah E-Prix in a determined mood, ready to maximize every opportunity in what they anticipate to be a very challenging debut. With the German team becoming ABB FIA Formula E’s eleventh team ahead of season five, the Mercedes-affiliate outfit are fielding two drivers who are also new to the series in 2018 DTM Champion Gary Paffett and former McLaren-Renault Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne, so the drivers may have proven skill, but can they create a winning formula in Formula E?
But while the team may be newbies to the championship, this season will see the launch of the Gen-2’s racing debut- meaning the end to the mid-race car swap for this season.
The 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship will also see the launch of the new Attack Mode, will see the drivers use a set amount of additional boost during the race (set one hour before the event) when passing through a set zone off the racing line. This will see the drivers increase their power output from 200 KW to 225 KW, which fans and competitors will be able to identify through the change of colour on the halo.
The increased power this year will see the Formula E cars operating at 300 KW during full-speed qualifying mode, with a top speed of approximately 175 mph.
2018 DTM Series Champion Gary Paffett is excited to be making the switch to be driving HWA Racelab Formula E team and ahead of the first round in Riyadh, he said: “Formula E is a new adventure for me and the team. We obviously still have a lot to learn – and not just at the first race weekend. I am really looking forward to my first weekend in Formula E. It is going to be tough and difficult, as this series is really competitive. We just have to try not to make any mistakes and get off to a good start.”
After a turbulent season in Formula 1, Stoffel Vandoorne is ready for a new challenge and the ferocious competition in Formula E should bring that to him. Ahead of Riyadh, he said: “I am really looking forward to the first race in Riyadh. It will be a completely new start and a new experience for all of us at HWA. It will be a special moment for us when the Formula E season starts. I am sure there will be a lot of things we have to learn and to get on top of, but I am just looking forward to finally getting started.”
This will be a brand new experience for HWA, who will be helping Mercedes in their Formula E preparations for next season and with a Venturi powertrain this season, the hope is that they should have a decent baseline.
Ahead of their FE debut, Ulrich Fritz, Team principal of HWA Racelab said: “The whole team is obviously delighted that the Formula E adventure is now officially up and running.
“For HWA AG, the race in Riyadh also marks a historic moment in the company’s history. This is the first time a team will race under the name HWA RACELAB.
“However, we have to be realistic with our expectations. We are new to the series. The same is true of our drivers. And Riyadh, with its narrow layout, together with the sand and dust that is to be expected on the track, is definitely not the easiest circuit on the calendar.
“Our goal is to put on a good show and avoid making any major mistakes, then we’ll see where we end up on Saturday afternoon. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the entire team for their effort and commitment.
“We withdrew from the DTM mid-October and flew straight to Valencia for the Formula E tests. Since then, everyone has been working tirelessly on this new programme, without any big breaks. This attitude to work is impressive.”