Mercedes DTM driver Gary Paffett will return to open-wheel racing in the FIA Formula E Championship after signing a deal for race for the new HWA Racelab team.
The Englishman’s move follows Mercedes’ decision to end its involvement in the German touring car championship at the end of the 2018 season. Paffett is one of a number of drivers supported by Mercedes-Benz, with the HWA Racelab team being a precursor to a full Mercedes entry into Formula E in the 2019-20 season.
“I am really excited about driving for HWA in the fifth season of Formula E,” said Paffett.
“This is basically the first time for 15 years that I will have switched series and cars. It will be a major challenge – for me, and for the team. Most of them – like me – are moving over from the DTM.
“As such, we have a lot to learn. It will certainly not be easy at first, but we are ready and are all looking forward to it.”
The team – which will run a Venturi VFE05 powertrain co-developed by HWA – will announce the identity of Paffett’s teammate in due course.
Mercedes’ other DTM drivers – who include Pascal Wehrlein, Paul di Resta, Daniel Juncadella and Lucas Auer – are all considered to be likely candidates to be Paffett’s teammate.
|2018-19 FIA Formula E Championship – Provisional Entry List (to-date)|
||Sébastien Buemi||Alexander Albon|
|Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
||Lucas di Grassi||Daniel Abt|
|Envision Virgin Racing||Sam Bird||Robin Frijns|
|DS Techeetah||Jean-Éric Vergne||André Lotterer|
|Panasonic Jaguar Racing
||Mitch Evans||Nelson Piquet Jr.|
|NIO Formula E Team
|Venturi Formula E Team
||Felipe Massa||Edoardo Mortara|
|BMW i Andretti Motorsport
||António Félix da Costa||Alexander Sims|
Images via HWA AG and LAT