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HWA Poised for Season Five Entry

Mercedes-affiliated HWA operation is close to firming up an option to join Formula E for Season Five as 11th team…

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-affiliated HWA operation is firming up an option to join the ABB FIA Formula E Championship for the fifth season, which kicks off later this year.

E-racing365 revealed last October the possibility of HWA entering the all-electric championship as a precursor to Mercedes’ full entry in 2019/20.

It’s believed the German outfit will enter as an 11th team, utilizing a customer Venturi powertrain for next season.

HWA CEO Ulrich Fritz (pictured above), who attended the Marrakesh E-Prix last weekend, admitted that a Season Five entry would have to “happen quickly.”

“We are evaluating different possibilities. We know the plan is for Mercedes to enter in 2019,” Fritz told e-racing365.

“The question really is, what we want to do, but it is still an evaluation process and nothing is decided yet.

“It could be an option [to enter in Season Five] and we are still looking at every possibility. I know that this would have to happen quickly and there are different ways to approach it and we will just have to wait and see.”

It is understood the team will use a Venturi powertrain, having forged a technical partnership with the Monegasque manufacturer for this season.

Venturi uses ZF Group as its primary technical partner and the German company, which also has close ties with HWA, is designing the majority of Venturi’s powertrain for Season Five.

HWA has until Tuesday to tie-up a definite customer agreement as defined in the recently-published FIA Customer Registration Procedure document.

Fritz, meanwhile, has spoken highly of Formula E, revealing that it’s unlike any other motorsport platform Mercedes has entered before.

“Mercedes has activated and it’s a series which is interesting for the future, especially from the technology challenge,” he said.

“We are looking into ways of really tackling the series because it’s demanding and different to all the other motorsports categories we know. So you need to be very prepared to be competitive as soon as possible.”

Fritz held several high-level meetings with Venturi last weekend, although it’s not known if an agreement was signed for a customer deal.

Other senior HWA and Mercedes personnel were in attendance in Morocco, including Nico Rosberg’s 2016 F1-winning engineer Tony Ross.

Jens Thiemer, the Vice President of Marketing for Mercedes-Benz/Damiler AG, who is widely credited for the manufacturer’s move from DTM to Formula E, was present at last month’s Hong Kong E-Prix.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Paul G.

    January 15, 2018 at 4:49 am

    Do they really need to reach an agreement as such with Venturi? I thought all manufacturers were required to supply customers if asked, and the price is pre-determined by FE.

    • Sam Smith

      January 17, 2018 at 6:20 am

      Yes they have to be capable of supplying a privateer team. That team has until 15th Jan (last Tuesday) to contract with the manufacturer.

  2. Old Trombone

    January 15, 2018 at 10:48 am

    First F1 AND FE Champ? Nico! He should add the Boogaloo Electric Bike Championship (created by Troy Lee the famous designer), so he can be the first ever Electric John Surtees!

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