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HWA Testing and Driver Strategy Taking Shape

HWA CEO Ulrich Fritz discusses testing and driver plans for debut Formula E campaign…

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

HWA AG is currently forming its testing plans but is yet to define when it will hit the track with its customer Venturi car, which it will enter in Season Five of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

Team CEO Ulrich Fritz told e-racing365 that HWA is still defining its testing strategy in readiness for its first electric racing campaign later this year.

HWA will essentially act as a ‘sleeper team’ for Mercedes, which will enter under the Mercedes EQ Formula E Team banner in 2019-20 with HWA joining as a key operational and technical partner.

The German outfit will receive its cars from Venturi later this summer and will potentially be entitled to some test days.

As a manufacturer, Venturi will be eligible to conduct 22 test days in total and three media filming days which are capped at 50 km of running, while the FIA reserves the right to grant manufacturers additional test days should it wish to do so.

E-racing365 understands that HWA engineers attended both of the recent manufacturer group tests in Spain last month and that a similar strategy could be implemented for Venturi’s private testing this summer.

“It is clear that we cannot mix up Season Six and Season Five [testing],” Fritz told e-racing365.

“For Season Five we are a clear customer team of Venturi and we will stick to the rules where we get our testing days which are the official Formula E testing days.

“Long before we decided to go into Formula E we had this partnership with Venturi and we learned a bit from them, but I think that there is nothing we can do about Season Six right at the moment.

“These are the rules so we will work together with HWA and Venturi to use whatever we can.”

Fritz also clarified that a specific date for the first run of the HWA-Venturi package is yet to be finalized.

“This date is not fixed yet so as soon as we have the timeline ready we will inform but there is not yet an official test date or media day yet,” he said.

Mortara, Engel in Frame for HWA Seats

Current Venturi drivers Maro Engel and Edoardo Mortara are in the “pool of drivers” that will be considered by HWA for its debut Formula E campaign.

“First of all Venturi have to make their decisions,” said Fritz.

“In the end, it is possible [to take Mortara and/or Engel] for sure but we have a big pool and maybe we want to do a bit of testing to see what the guys want and how they handle a car, but there is absolutely nothing decided yet.”

Other drivers who are believed to be considered include Paul di Resta, Gary Paffett, Lucas Auer and Pascal Wehrlein.

Further speculation has centered on whether HWA could rebrand its powertrain in deference to the ZF Group which has largely been responsible for the Season Five package.

However, Fritz stated that this would not be the case.

“If I look in the regulations then for sure it is a Venturi powertrain,” he said.

“Maybe it is supplied by ZF or a big part of it but in the end, it is a Venturi drivetrain so this is what the branding will most likely look like.

“I think Season Five will be more about HWA and to learn as much as we can. We have a competitive heart and we want to win races. I know this will be really tough but we at least have an aspiration for that.”

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 from 2014-17. Contact Sam

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