• Vandoorne earns maiden pole position for HWA RACELAB
  • First points In the ABB FIA Formula E Championship
  • 8th place for Gary Paffett, technical issue forces Stoffel Vandoorne to retire
  • Gary Paffett: "I am generally very happy with this weekend."
  • Stoffel Vandoorne: "We have shown what we are capable of."
  • Ulrich Fritz: "Feels good to know that we are improving from race to race."

Hong Kong, 10th March 2019 – The 50th race in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Hong Kong proved to be an emotional rollercoaster for HWA RACELAB. The morning's action had seen the new Formula E team achieve several successes at this milestone E-Prix. Constant showers between the sessions made for slippery asphalt on the 1.86-km circuit in Hong Kong's harbour district. This posed a huge challenge for the drivers and the teams in the pit lane.

HWA RACELAB coped best with these tricky conditions in qualifying. Stoffel Vandoorne and Gary Paffett set the two fastest times in their VFE05 cars to ensure they progressed to the Super Pole session for the top six drivers. Vandoorne then produced a perfect drive, securing pole position by 0.3 seconds and presenting HWA RACELAB with its first three points in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The Belgian consequently started the HKT Hong Kong E-Prix from the front of the grid. However, he was passed by Oliver Rowland at the start and then lost another position in a battle with Sam Bird, before the race was suspended for several minutes following a crash. After the re-start, Vandoorne continued to challenge for a podium position in fourth place until he was forced to retire with a drive shaft issue.

Having started the race from fifth place, Gary Paffett initially established himself in the top five, but gradually dropped back to eighth place after the re-start. The DTM champion defended this position through to the finish to pick up his first four points in Formula E.

Quotes on the race

Gary Paffett (37, England, car number 17), 8th place
"P8 is a bit disappointing after starting from fourth. Our cars were not as strong on a dry track. We were not able to gain any experience in the dry here, which made it a tough race. However, we made it to the finish, I scored my first points in Formula E, and the team also picked up its first points. That is definitely a step forwards, even if we were hoping for more after qualifying. As such, I am generally very happy with this weekend."

Stoffel Vandoorne (26, Belgium, car number 5), DNF
"That was a very frustrating end to the weekend. I had an issue with the car, which unfortunately brought my race to a premature end. I secured pole position in qualifying, which was the first for the team and my first pole in Formula E. That is something we can be proud of. We have once again taken big steps forward. We could do nothing about the issues in the race, which is a real shame. We can look ahead to the next race with our heads held high. We have shown what we are capable of."

Ulrich Fritz, Team Principal HWA RACELAB
"We have mixed feelings after this race day. Our performance in qualifying was absolutely magnificent and we picked up the first points and pole position in Formula E for both HWA RACELAB and for Stoffel Vandoorne. In the race, Stoffel was in contention for a spot on the podium until he unfortunately had to retire with a drive shaft issue. Gary at least managed to finish eighth and score his first points in the series. We must work on our race pace and the reliability of the car for the coming races. However, it feels good to know that we are improving from race to race."

The next round of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship is the Sanya E-Prix on 23rd March 2019.