Gary Paffett believes that four Full Course Yellow periods during the Paris E-Prix compromized his race and denied him a higher finishing position than eighth place.
The HWA Racelab driver claimed his second points score of his Formula E career to date after a relatively trouble-free run during a chaotic race which saw the Brit climb from 17th on the grid to claim four points.
“From P17 its not obvious what’s going to be possible, especially as round here there is no overtaking really, so I just focused on trying to stay with the pack in the dry,” Paffett told e-racing365.
“But I was really disappointed actually with so many yellow flags because, I think we had pretty good pace in the wet and I think we could have gone forward quite a lot.
“We were catching the cars in front and the pace was very strong, so in the end a bit disappointed that there were so many yellows but pleased with the actual race result itself.”
HWA Racelab brought a driveshaft specification update to the Venturi VFE05 for Paris after several previous races had been compromized by issues.
Steel components were used in Paris rather than the previous composite designs.
“We’ve had a spec change for this race, and it seems pretty good,” explained Paffett.
“It’s a decent change but it doesn’t help performance, doesn’t hurt it, but certainly doesn’t help it at all, but the reliability this weekend hasn’t been a concern which is nice.
“So, I’m looking forward to the rest of the year without having to worry about that aspect too much.”
Growing Confidence Paying Off
Paffett also says that he enhanced his own confidence in the Gen 2 Formula E car last weekend after several difficult races in his rookie season.
A combination of incidents and poor reliability from the Venturi VFE05s supplied to HWA Racelab have contributed to a frustrating first half of the season for Paffett.
“You do have to get confidence in the car and in your own ability and I am developing that as I’m going,” he said.
“I felt a lot more confident this weekend than I have done previously, I mean apart from Hong Kong in the wet, I felt very happy there, but in the dry I felt better this weekend than I have anywhere, and it shows we are making progress.”
The HWA Racelab driver pinpointed key aspects of preparation for races and circuits in which he and the team have no practical experience.
“For me, the big thing is trying to get the preparation right, knowing how to prepare for these new circuits,” he said.
“For the rookies its more of a challenge because these circuits are really quite specific and there’s certain corners, certain bumps that you learn the first time and you know what to do the next time, whereas we are learning it all over again.
“It is about how to maximize the sort of preparation time in the simulator or in the practice sessions to try to get the best out of the weekend and I think we made a step in the right direction.”