After fifteen legendary seasons in the DTM, Gary Paffett will now embark on a fresh challenge in his career as he spearheads HWA RACELAB as they enter the series for the fifth season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
HWA AG, the most successful team in the history of the DTM, will make its debut in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in season five and Gary has been announced as the first driver of the brand new HWA RACELAB.
“I am really excited about driving for HWA in the fifth season of Formula E. This is basically the first time for 15 years that I will have switched series and cars. It will be a major challenge – for me, and for the team. Most of them – like me – are moving over from the DTM. As such, we have a lot to learn. It will certainly not be easy at first, but we are ready and are all looking forward to it.” said Paffett.
Switching series for the first time in fifteen years, Gary Paffett will mark his debut race in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship when he and HWA RACELAB kick off the new 2018/19 season in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) on 15th December. The 2005 DTM champion, and title contender in the current DTM season, is one of the biggest names in international motorsport. The Brit gained his first experience in a Formula E car at a rookie test in Marrakech at the start of 2018, making an instant impression and opening the door to lead HWA RACELAB.
Understanding the challenges ahead, Gary knows he will need to adapt his approach in order to succeed in this great series. “Formula E is a very promising series with great prospects. It is great to be a part of it. I watched the race in Marrakech at the start of the year and was impressed by the atmosphere. It was totally different from the DTM and anything else I’ve seen before. We must adapt to this new format and adjust our approach to the race weekends accordingly. The standard of the drivers and teams is definitely very high.”
In order to master the challenge of Formula E, the engineering company from Affalterbach has assembled a powerful team of motorsport experts and put in place a completely new technical infrastructure. As team principal at HWA RACELAB, Ulrich Fritz bears overall responsibility for the new Formula E project.
“We are looking forward to the new challenges that come with Formula E. Over the past weeks and months, we have worked very hard to lay a solid foundation, upon which to enter this fiercely-competitive series. In doing so, we have benefited greatly from the experience gained in cooperation with the Venturi team, whom we supported last season as the technical partner,” commented Ulrich Fritz.
Ulrich Fritz, the CEO of HWA AG and long-time DTM team principal, will be assisted by Franco Chiocchetti as Head of Formula E Operations. The South African joined HWA AG in March 2018 and brings with him a wealth of Formula E experience as the technical director and race engineer. Completing the HWA RACELAB leadership team is Director Track Operations Martin Marx, who, in this role, has been instrumental in HWA’s long list of successes in the DTM.
“We are now well positioned with our own team to compete under our own flag. We are approaching this challenge with a healthy mixture of confidence and respect. The season ahead will be a learning year for HWA RACELAB, but I am confident that we will very quickly establish ourselves and be competitive in the series.” said Fritz
The car run by HWA RACELAB in Formula E will be the new Generation 2 car, the VFE-05, supplied by manufacturer and partner Venturi Automobiles. The futuristic design of the car, with its black carbon look and ‘Technical Blue’ accents, is based on the new HWA RACELAB image.