Retrospective point award for HWA RACELAB in Bern

The run of points finishes for HWA RACELAB in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship continues at the E-Prix in Bern after a stewards’ decision. In an eventful race, Stoffel Vandoorne worked his way through the field place by place. His fightback went unrewarded. However, one driver ahead him was penalised after the race, moving Vandoorne up to tenth. Team-mate Gary Paffett was hampered by a puncture.

  • 10th place for Stoffel Vandoorne, 17th place for Gary Paffett
  • Stoffel Vandoorne: "This way, you do not necessarily want to get points."
  • Gary Paffett: "I am disappointed with my mistake."
  • Ulrich Fritz: "We are happy, that we were able to continue our series."

Bern, 22nd June 2019 – Neither of the two HWA RACELAB drivers found themselves in ideal starting positions at the Julius Bär Swiss E-Prix. Unlike at recent rounds, Stoffel Vandoorne and Gary Paffett this time struggled in qualifying. They did not have the necessary pace on the unusual circuit through Bern city centre, which featured many uphill and downhill sections and a change in elevation of 50 metres. As such, they had to settle for 15th and 16th place on the grid.

The race was eventful from the word go: The first chicane was the scene of a multi-car collision, which blocked the way for the rest of the field. Stoffel reacted quickly and passed the chaos in the run-off area on the outside. This catapulted him into fifth place, before the race was interrupted to remove the cars from the track.

After a 35-minute break in the action, race control decided that the re-start with the 21 remaining cars would take place in the original grid order. Instead of starting from fifth, Stoffel restarted from 14th place. Gary resumed the race in 15th place.

However, Stoffel did not hang around in 14th place for long and launched a determined fightback. By the halfway point of the race, he had worked his way into tenth place thanks to several skilful overtaking manoeuvres. He held on to this position until two laps from the end, when he could not prevent Audi driver Lucas di Grassi from passing him in Attack Mode. It was at precisely this point that it started to rain heavily, making it more difficult for Stoffel to launch a counterattack on the slippery track. In the end, he came home eleventh. 

A few hours after the cars cross the finish line, race control issues a new official final result. A penalty for André Lotterer (DS Techeeta) meant that Stoffel moved up one place to P10 and HWA RACELAB finished in the points in every European race.

Gary was initially running 15th until he made contact with the crash barriers in a corner and had to come into the pits with a puncture. The necessary tyre change cost the DTM champion a lot of time and he eventually crossed the finish line in 18th place. After the disqualification of another driver he moved up to 17th.

Quotes on the race  

Stoffel Vandoorne (27, Belgium, car number 5), 10th place
"So close to the points. That is a real shame. I fought hard and pulled off a few good overtaking manoeuvres. I felt the pace was better than in qualifying, which is positive. This way, of course, you do not necessarily want to get points, but I am happy about it."

Gary Paffett (38, England, car number 17), 17th place
"That was a very tough race. The position was not bad after the re-start, but it is relatively difficult to overtake here. I tried to stay in touch, but picked up a puncture on the wall and had to come into the pits. I am disappointed with my mistake. We wanted to score points today, but unfortunately that was not to be."

Ulrich Fritz, Team Principal HWA RACELAB
"That was a chaotic race, with all the incidents and the red flag. Fortunately, we avoided any larger problems in the crash on the opening lap, but it was not easy for our two drivers out there today. We struggled for pace all day. We are happy that we were rewarded with a point afterwards and were able to continue our series. We take this as a positive momentum for the last race weekend of this season in New York."

The 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship draws to a close with two races in New York City on 13th and 14th July.


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. Furthermore, HWA RACELAB will race in the new, international FIA Formula 3 championship in 2019. 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, Formula E

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

Marlene Wieland
Motorsport Communications, Formula E

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