HWA Racelab had a torrid weekend in Morocco for the second round of the 2018-19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship, as Stoffel Vandoorne and Gary Paffett both endured problems.
Technical issues in qualifying for the Belgian and British drivers was only the beginning of the end and left them 19th and 22nd on the grid.
The race then saw a brief feature for the pair of them. A collision between the duo on the opening lap forced Vandoorne to pit and retire, whilst Paffett sustained rear damage from the contact and was out of the running a few laps later.
That forgettable result has left the German outfit pointless and rock bottom of the Teams’ Standings.
Team Principal Ulrich Fritz reflected on what had been a “disastrous” day for the squad.
“That was nothing short of disastrous. First the issues with the power shutdown during qualifying, then the two cars hit each other in turn one”, Fritz added.
“That is obviously something that should never happen. Unfortunately, however, that was the case today. I feel sorry for the whole team.
“Everyone has worked so hard in recent weeks, but they were not rewarded for their efforts today. However, I am confident that the results will come if we continue to work the way we have done so far.”
Vandoorne was “sad” to be out of the race so soon after showing strong pace during practice.
“Unfortunately, that was a very short race for us. It was all over by turn one. The conditions were tricky at the start, with a lot of smoke and poor visibility”, Vandoorne said.
“A lot of cars were swerving about and came off the track. I was possibly a little overambitious and was unable to avoid hitting Gary in all the turmoil.
“It is sad that we were not able to finish the race. It would have been valuable for us to get some kilometres under our belt. Very disappointing, but we will look to bounce back in Santiago.”
Paffett says it was “a shame” to have his E-Prix cut short.
“It is a case of mixed feelings after the race here in Marrakesh. We had a good practice in the morning, when everything ran smoothly.
“In the race itself, Stoffel braked a little too late into turn one and hit me from the side, causing damage to the car. I then suffered a puncture shortly after and was forced to retire.
It is a shame, because the pace in practice was actually really good. However, we have learned a lot over the course of the weekend and will be better prepared as a result – ultimately, however, it has been a frustrating day.”