This weekend will see Gary Paffett take on the sixth round of this year’s ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Sanya, China. Having picked up the team’s first points of the season last time out, Gary and his HWA RACELAB team will be aiming for more points this weekend in the all-electric series.
Having grown into the season with a recent run of positive performances, the Formula E paddock remains in Asia for this weekend’s FWD Sanya E-Prix. On the back of acquiring his first points of the championship in at a wet Hong Kong EPrix, Paffett shone in group qualifying, as he finished in P2, before making his first super pole appearance of the season, securing a 4th place spot on the starting grid. The two-time DTM champion then finished the race in eighth position as he secured the first points of Formula E career.
China is hosting an EPrix again for the first time since the 2015 race in Beijing. The circuit, located on the southern tip of the popular tourist island of Hainan, runs 2.3 kilometres along the shores of the South China Sea. The varied track requires the drivers to cross a bridge over the Sanya River and to master eleven corners in total, which includes a tricky hairpin which will likely see a lot of drama in Saturday’s race.
Having demonstrated the potential of his VFE05 car, Gary is keen to once again showcase his competitive race-pace this weekend in China.
“We enjoyed some success in Hong Kong, which we can back up now. We exceeded all our expectations in qualifying on a wet track. Fourth place on the grid for me, pole position for Stoffel. That was fantastic for the whole team. It was the highlight of the season so far.”
“The race was not quite as successful, but I did finish eighth to score my first points. Together with Stoffel's points, they were the first for our team. That is something we can really build on. We want to finish in the points again in China. The circuit in Sanya is new to everyone. That improves our chances, as none of the other teams have more experience of the track than we do. I hope we continue to make progress and close in on the front of the field."
HWA Team Principal, Ulrich Fritz, also hopes that both his drivers will be in the points again this weekend.
"We took a big step forward in Hong Kong. The pole position was fantastic and to score points in the race gave the whole team a big boost. It is obviously a shame that Stoffel was unable to finish the race, due to a technical issue, but the positives far outweigh that disappointment. For Sanya, we are working on improving the reliability of the cars. It would be nice to have a weekend without any technical issues. Should that be the case, I definitely feel we are capable of springing a surprise or two.”
Action for Gary will begin on 23rd March, with free practice at 11:30 PM (GMT), followed by qualifying at 03:20, with the main race commencing at 07:00.