HWA is poised to announce its long-awaited plans to enter the ABB FIA Formula E Championship later this year and grow the Season Five grid to 22 cars.
The Mercedes-affiliated company, which was founded 20 years ago as a spin-off from AMG, is expected to make public plans of its Season Five entry just before or during next month’s Berlin E-Prix meeting at Tempelhof.
As revealed by e-racing365 in October, HWA will enter a year ahead of the planned Mercedes factory effort and utilize learning of the new Gen 2 Formula E car for the German manufacturer in Season Six.
HWA will run a customer powertrain next season to harness its experience gathered from the Venturi team this season.
Several HWA engineers have been embedded in the Monegasque team since the Hong Kong race in December with a view to soaking up as much knowledge as possible.
Away from the track, HWA has been working with the ZF Group which will supply a powertrain to both Venturi and HWA from next season onwards.
It’s believed that HWA will run with a customer powertrain but will rebadge the manufacturer name from Venturi to ZF for its purposes only.
It’s not presently known whether HWA will continue to run or have involvement in the full Mercedes effort in 2019, but speculation is mounting that it will run the team operationally and liaise directly with the Mercedes High Performance Powertrains factory in Northamptonshire.
It was revealed last week that Mercedes HPPT attended the last Formula E Technical Working Group meeting held in Geneva last month.
HWA CEO Ulrich Fritz will be at the Paris E-Prix this weekend finalizing plans for the launch of the HWA team’s entry in May.
It remains to be seen which drivers HWA will use for its new program but Maro Engel and Edoardo Mortara are both options through their knowledge of the championship already with Venturi.
Both drivers, however, are yet to test the Gen 2 car as Venturi development driver Michael Benyahia, Season Three driver Tom Dillmann and academy driver Arthur Leclerc have so far undertaken the first four days of testing.
Mortara has previously worked with the recently-announced new HWA engineering recruit Franco Chiocchetti at ABT Sportsline in the 2014 DTM season.
Others who are likely to be considered include Gary Paffett, Pascal Wehrlein, Max Guenther, Paul di Resta and Lucas Auer.
As an expected customer of Venturi, HWA will not be granted the 15 test days afforded to manufacturers and will have to make do with just the official pre-season test and filming days.