HWA RACELAB lived through an emotional rollercoaster during the 50th race of the Formula E Championship. The event was in Hong Kong. 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 Formula E.
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.
“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”, Vandoorne commented.
It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions today😳… Starting on a massive high with my and the teams first ever @fiaformulae Pole Position! The race was going well untill we had a driveshaft failure. Im keeping my head high and already looking forward to strike back in Sanya! 👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/mclTt0RM5r
— Stoffel Vandoorne (@svandoorne) March 10, 2019
Gary Paffett started the race from fifth place
Initially, he 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.
“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”, Paffett explained.