The race in the streets of Hong Kong was an emotional rollercoaster for HWA Racelab. The morning’s action had seen the new Formula E team coping rather well with the tricky conditions in qualifying. Stoffel Vandoorne and Gary Paffett set the two fastest times in their VFE05 cars to ensure they progressed to the Super Pole session for the top six drivers.
With Vandoorne then securing pole position, HWA Racelab achieved its first milestone, scoring the team’s first three championship points. The Belgian consequently started the HKT Hong Kong E-Prix from the front of the grid. However, he was passed by Oliver Rowland at the start and then lost another position in a battle with Sam Bird, before the race was suspended for several minutes following a crash.
After the re-start, Vandoorne continued to challenge for a podium position in fourth place until he was forced to retire with a drive shaft issue. “That was a very frustrating end to the weekend. I secured pole position in qualifying, which was the first for the team and my first pole in Formula E.
That is something we can be proud of. We have once again taken big steps forward. We could do nothing about the issues in the race, which is a real shame. We can look ahead to the next race with our heads held high. We have shown what we are capable of”, said Vandoorne.
Having started the race from fifth place, team-mate Gary Paffett initially established himself in the top five, but gradually dropped back to eighth place after the re-start. The Brit defended this position through to the finish to pick up his first four points in Formula E.
“P8 is a bit disappointing after starting from fourth. Our cars were not as strong on a dry track. We were not able to gain any experience in the dry here, which made it a tough race. However, we made it to the finish, I scored my first points in Formula E, and the team also picked up its first points. That is definitely a step forward, even if we were hoping for more after qualifying”, concluded Paffett.
“We have mixed feelings after this race day. Our performance in qualifying was absolutely magnificent. We must work on our race pace and the reliability of the car for the coming races. However, it feels good to know that we are improving from race to race”, declared Team Principal Ulrich Fritz.