First test in Valencia: The adventure begins

HWA RACELAB tackle the challenge of the ABB FIA Formel E during official testing at Valencia

  • Gary Paffett, Stoffel Vandoorne and Daniel Juncadella completed three days of testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo
  • The team posted 283 laps or the equivalent of 875 kilometres with the new Gen2 car
  • Gary Paffett: “I’ve been very impressed with how the team have gone about taking their first steps in Formula E.”
  • Stoffel Vandoorne: “The two days of testing in Valencia were a completely new experience for me”

Valencia, 19thOctober 2018 – Preparations for HWA RACELAB’s debut season in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship are in full swing. The team stepped things up a gear this week as they completed the first few laps with their two new Gen2 cars during official testing at Valencia, 16 - 19 October. The team gained valuable experience during the test week with the cars’ mid‑December race debut in Saudi Arabia in mind.

The two race drivers, Gary Paffett and Stoffel Vandoorne, were joined by Daniel Juncadella for three days of testing (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday). The team covered some 283 laps or 875 kilometres during the first day of testing on the track just outside Valencia.

“It was an interesting test,” said Gary, who travelled straight to Valencia after his DTM title win at Hockenheim. “As with all pre-season testing, you always get one or two problems, and we weren’t able to do as much running as we would have liked but did a lot more than the others, nevertheless. I still have a lot to learn, especially about how to drive the car and get the most out of it. You have two very different driving styles for qualifying and the race. I’ve been very impressed with how the team have gone about taking their first steps in Formula E. We all have a great deal to learn, but I’m happy with the team’s progress. I think we’re on the right road. There’s still plenty to do, and we’re not quite ready yet for Riyadh, but I’m pleased with the test week and am looking forward to the first race.”

Gary’s team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne’s week was just as exciting as that of the newly crowned DTM champion. On Monday, the team confirmed that Stoffel will race for HWA RACELAB in Season 5, and just one day later, he was sitting in the cockpit of his new car for the first time in Valencia. As if that were not enough excitement for one week, he had to immediately head back to Austin to compete in the United States Grand Prix after two hectic days of testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

“The two days of testing in Valencia were a completely new experience for me,” said Stoffel. “I learned a lot and am now looking forward to my first Formula E race. The test didn’t go quite as I would have wished but I gained a lot of experience and sorted out a few things with the team. We knew from the outset that this was a new undertaking and that we still have a lot to learn. We’re now focused on the season opener in Saudi Arabia and are preparing for our maiden Formula E race. I can hardly wait!”

As Stoffel had to be back in Austin, Daniel Juncadella took over his car on Friday and finished testing along with Gary. “Driving the new Gen2 Formula E car for the first time was a great experience,” said Daniel, who knows the team well from his time in the DTM. “The changeable weather conditions made it a tough day. The morning was very wet, but everything went smoothly and I was able to post a few laps. That’s the most important thing for the team. I’m very pleased to have been given this opportunity and hope that my feedback will have been of use in helping them prepare for the first race weekend.”

The three days of testing in Valencia were the perfect opportunity for the team to get accustomed to the new VFE‑05 Gen2 racing car and to Formula E’s procedures. Aside from the regular test sessions, teams also completed a 45-minute race simulation on Wednesday afternoon in order to test the cars and systems under race conditions. This was also the first time that the newly introduced Attack Mode which makes more power available on a predetermined section of track had been in action.

“We had a very instructive test week in Valencia,” said Ulrich Fritz, CEO of HWA AG. “It was obvious from the outset that Formula E would be a big challenge. Of course, we would like to have driven more, but we realised that problems would crop up this week. Every solution to a problem that we can find now will be a help during the season. We’ve still got a lot of work ahead of us in the run-up to Riyadh, but we’re looking forward to it, nevertheless. At this point, I would like to just take a moment to thank everyone in the team once again. What the guys managed to achieve these past few weeks is just amazing. We flew straight to Valencia after our last DTM race weekend and title win, and yet, no one slackened off but continued to give it 100 percent. The way they’ve gone about things makes me feel very proud indeed.”

After three very instructive and productive test days, the team will now return to the factory in Affalterbach in order to prepare for the season opener at Diriyah on 15 December.

About HWA AG
HWA AG is an independent, 360° engineering specialist in the fields of automobile racing and high-performance cars. Formed in 1998 by Hans Werner Aufrecht, the company is based in Affalterbach (Germany) and employs roughly 300 highly-qualified members of staff. HWA AG offers all its products and services under the motto ENGINEERING SPEED: The company’s objective is to develop the best possible, high-quality solutions, in order to get its partners and customers to their destination quicker. The portfolio of services ranges from designing all vehicle components to assembling complete cars, together with the relevant logistics, after-sales and support services.

HWA RACELAB is HWA AG’s operations team in motorsport. It brings together experienced specialists in high-quality race engineering and the associated services, in pursuit of success on the motorsport scene. HWA RACELAB will enter Formula E as a new team in the 2018/19 season, adding a future-oriented string to HWA’s wealth of racetrack expertise. With eleven Drivers’ titles and over 180 race wins as a works team for Mercedes-AMG in the DTM, the company is one of the most successful players in international motorsport. HWA RACELAB also draws on the company’s other core areas of expertise, such as the development, assembly and running of GT cars for customer racing, as well as the assembly of Formula 3 race engines. 


Oliver Kapffenstein
Motorsport Communications, Formel E

tel:     +49 (0) 711 17 57 00 4
mob:  +49 (0) 160 8 67 47 97

Marlene Wieland
Motorsport Communications, Formel E

tel:     +49 (0) 711 17 51 80 3
mob:  +49 (0) 160 8 62 80 80