Vandoorne aiming for works Mercedes Formula E drive

HWA Racelab driver Stoffel Vandoorne is aiming to take a works Mercedes seat when it enters Formula E for the 2019/20 season.

The HWA team, a customer of Venturi, is acting as a placeholder for Mercedes’ works entry next season, hosting Vandoorne and reigning DTM champion Gary Paffett as drivers.

Vandoorne took on a simulator driver role with the Mercedes Formula 1 team at the end of last year and is aiming to be kept on for its FE works entry next season.

“That’s definitely the aim. Part of the reason I signed with HWA is knowing their heritage. They’ve been massively successful in everything they’ve been doing, and knowing what the future brings for this team I think is a very exciting project and I like being a part of that.

“This is obviously a build year, at the moment I don’t have much more information about next year so there’s not much I can tell on that front.

“For sure it’s a very exciting project and we know the history of Mercedes in everything they’ve been doing they’ve been extremely successful. They will be putting in a lot of effort to make this a successful programme as well.

“We try to feed back the best information possible for them to develop in the right direction.”

Vandoorne qualified fourth on his debut in a wet Ad Diriyah, but has suffered setbacks in both races so far this season. He glanced the wall in the opening round and his car shut down during qualifying in Marrakesh, putting him at the back before he made contact with his team-mate at the first corner.

“We were always going to have a tough time, we’re a new team so to make sure that operationally we’re doing everything right it’s going to require a little bit of time.

“It’s part of the process, it’s a bit frustrating but we knew it was going to be that way and we’re learning the hard way unfortunately. But there’s a lot of talent in the team, a lot of ideas for the future as well and we can really see a big margin in progress.

“The next target for us is to have a clean weekend and see where we are exactly.”

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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