Vandoorne: HWA faces 'steep learning curve' ahead of Formula E debut

McLaren Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne says his HWA team faces a "steep learning curve" as it prepares for its debut Formula E season

Vandoorne: HWA faces 'steep learning curve' ahead of Formula E debut

After losing his McLaren drive for 2019, Vandoorne will race in FE for Mercedes-affiliate HWA, and made his first public appearance for the squad in last month's 2018/19 pre-season test at Valencia.

But his running in Spain - which was already reduced by having to leave with one day of the test remaining to travel to the United States Grand Prix - was disrupted.

Vandoorne lost all of the first afternoon to a battery problem and then stopped early in the unofficial 'race simulation' on day two, with the car declared 'red' as its electric systems were still live.

"I don't think it's been worse, [but] it's not been ideal that's for sure," Vandoorne explained to Autosport, when asked if the testing problems had been expected.

"I would have liked to have a bit more preparation and have more running because obviously I haven't really done any race runs and proper qualifying simulations.

"So I will have to discover some more stuff when we actually go racing but it was always going to be that way.

"I'm also still combining my programme with Formula 1 so I'm kind of jumping from one to the other at the moment but I'm not worried about it.

"We will have a very big, steep learning curve in the start of the year compared to some other teams, which is normal because it's a new experience for everyone."

Vandoorne also explained that his main focus between the end of pre-season testing - the only running HWA could complete ahead of season five as a Venturi customer squad - would be on learning FE's specific race processes.

"There's a lot of operational stuff I still have to learn," he said.

"Especially the energy management during the race, the kind of communication you have with your team.

"All that stuff is what I missed out a little bit during this test - the more race-relevant stuff.

"So there's a lot of stuff we can do on a simulator - I'll probably be spending a little bit of time in there as well before going to Riyadh [for the first race of season five].

"From my side the only thing I can do now is making sure I'm 100% clear on what to do operationally."

shares
comments
2018/19 Formula E races will be streamed on YouTube in the UK

Previous article

2018/19 Formula E races will be streamed on YouTube in the UK

Next article

From F1 exit to the best comeback stage

From F1 exit to the best comeback stage
Load comments
How Puebla's high-altitude encounter gave Formula E's new leader breathing space Plus

How Puebla's high-altitude encounter gave Formula E's new leader breathing space

With the usual Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez venue unavailable to Formula E, it visited the little Puebla circuit to keep its foot in the door in Mexico. A near-winner two years ago, Pascal Wehrlein looked in swaggering form throughout the weekend - but a breathless final encounter helped put Edoardo Mortara in the driving seat

The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21 Plus

The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21

In an eventful Formula E season, punctuated by rain and energy-conservation controversy, the 12 teams contesting the championship have endured many challenges in the opening seven races. Here's how they've got on across the first half of the season.

Formula E
May 26, 2021
How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco Plus

How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco

OPINION: It was no surprise to anybody that the laptimes achieved by Formula E cars on the full Monaco circuit were much slower than Formula 1. But perhaps the more relevant comparison was in the racing spectacle, where FE delivered in spades

Formula E
May 12, 2021
How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover Plus

How Monaco dealt Formula E a winning hand to cure its hangover

Formula E faced much criticism in the wake of its maligned Valencia event. In need of a turnaround, the series' first use of Monaco's iconic Formula 1 layout provided it with the injection of thrills required to clear the fog that had enveloped the paddock

Formula E
May 10, 2021
How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem Plus

How Valencia E-Prix farce left Formula E with an image problem

Formula E was under the microscope at Valencia, on its first visit to a permanent circuit. But after a mere nine drivers were left classified following Saturday's Valencia E-Prix, the electric championship once more faced criticism after rising energy deductions and miscalculations produced a farcical affair

Formula E
Apr 25, 2021
The silver bullet signing that has launched Jaguar into title contention Plus

The silver bullet signing that has launched Jaguar into title contention

It's taken a long time for Jaguar to reach the cusp of contending for championships in Formula E. But, after last season's challenge crumbled in Berlin, the team has been bolstered by a top-line arrival who has helped to end an unwanted 30-year wait

Formula E
Apr 22, 2021
How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome Plus

How Vergne and Vandoorne found redemption in Rome

Another Formula E double-header, another double dose of frantic action. While the form guide remains unpredictable following fightback wins for Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne in Rome, the speed and consistency of Mercedes – both on and off the track – could have its rivals worried for what is to follow

Formula E
Apr 12, 2021
What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future Plus

What Nissan's commitment to Gen3 reveals about Formula E's future

Formula E's Gen3 era grid continues to take shape, after Nissan opted to commit to the series for another four years. Nissan's global chief operating officer explains why it has thrown its lot in with FE while other high-profile marques have decided to call it quits

Formula E
Mar 24, 2021