Vandoorne says Mercedes boss Wolff called him about HWA FE interest

McLaren Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne has revealed he was first approached by Toto Wolff about joining the Mercedes-affiliated HWA Formula E team he will race for in 2018/19

Vandoorne says Mercedes boss Wolff called him about HWA FE interest

Vandoorne will lose his F1 drive at the end of the season, but was announced as Gary Paffett's team-mate at HWA on Monday.

The Belgian's McLaren exit was announced in early September, and he explained that Mercedes motorsport boss Wolff contacted him about an opening at HWA that same month.

"I had the first contact in about September I would say," Vandoorne said.

"I actually had a phone call with Toto and he asked if I would be interested to join HWA for the Formula E project and I didn't really have to think about that.

"HWA as a team - they've done extremely well in the past and just last weekend won the championship in DTM as well - so a lot of talented people [are] there.

"The plans for the future were looking very exciting, so when I had the chance to join Formula E with HWA and knowing what the future holds - I didn't really have to think twice."

Vandoorne was only able to complete 13 laps on the first day of FE's official 2018/19 pre-season testing, which got underway at Valencia on Tuesday, as a battery problem meant he could not run in the afternoon session.

He finished 19th in the day one standings, but insisted such teething-problems were to be expected.

"I've had two days in the car before coming here, so I kind of have a little bit of a feeling already of what the car is doing, how everything is behaving," said Vandoorne, who will miss the final day of the test when he travels to contest the US Grand Prix for McLaren.

"Obviously today was a bit difficult for us - we missed quite a lot of running because of a few issues.

"But I think it was always going to be that way - the team is completely new, there's a lot of things we have to get on top of and the aim for this test is to get everything right operationally and make sure we get all the procedures right and turn up with hopefully a good package in the first race in Riyadh."

shares
comments
Formula E 2018/19: BMW's Sims leads Valencia Gen2 testing day one
Previous article

Formula E 2018/19: BMW's Sims leads Valencia Gen2 testing day one

Next article

How F1's nearly man plans to become Formula E's 'king'

How F1's nearly man plans to become Formula E's 'king'
Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title? Plus

Can anyone beat Stoffel Vandoorne to the Formula E title?

Stoffel Vandoorne is on the brink of the Formula E title with a commanding lead ahead of the Seoul finale, but both rivals and unknowns still stand in his way. Here’s a run through of what Vandoorne must overcome to clinch the championship and how his competition will look to pull off the biggest of shocks

Formula E
Aug 10, 2022
How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon Plus

How Formula E's most underrated driver is taming his Dragon

It might not look like the most glittering of Formula E campaigns, but Dragon Penske’s youngster has caught the eye of those who count despite his future remaining unclear. Regardless of the distortion, Sergio Sette Camara has a clear vision of what he’s focused on and how to get there

Formula E
Aug 4, 2022
How Formula E's title fight gave way to Dennis and Di Grassi in the dockyards Plus

How Formula E's title fight gave way to Dennis and Di Grassi in the dockyards

The penultimate stop on Formula E's world tour took in London's ExCeL, where the championship contenders were upstaged by two first-time winners in 2022. Andretti’s Jake Dennis kept the home fires burning in the first race as Venturi’s Lucas di Grassi claimed the second, but two consistent finishes mean its advantage Stoffel Vandoorne heading to the Seoul finale

Formula E
Aug 1, 2022
The ex-F1 racer turned Venturi team boss adapting to a Formula E title fight Plus

The ex-F1 racer turned Venturi team boss adapting to a Formula E title fight

For the second year in a row, the Venturi team is in the thick of the fight for Formula E title glory with Edoardo Mortara. That's despite a change to a more meritocratic qualifying system, which was expected to give the works Mercedes team an edge, and ex-Formula 1 racer Jerome d'Ambrosio being new in the team principal hot seat. As he tells Autosport, it's a challenge he's revelling in

Formula E
Jul 26, 2022
Why Sims is quitting Formula E to become the master of his own destiny Plus

Why Sims is quitting Formula E to become the master of his own destiny

Alexander Sims’ call to give up a pukka Formula E spot after four seasons in the series may have surprised some, but after laying out his reasoning and what he hopes comes next, very few onlookers can argue against his plan

Formula E
Jul 20, 2022
How Formula E's Big Apple crunch led to Cassidy joy and heartache Plus

How Formula E's Big Apple crunch led to Cassidy joy and heartache

Nick Cassidy hadn't enjoyed too many joyful moments in the 2021-22 Formula E campaign, but the Envision Virgin driver was the class of the field in New York - even after a sudden downpour had caused him and several others to shunt heavily out of the first race. Red flags saved his bacon on that occasion, but a 30-place penalty that cost him pole for race two due to a new battery opened the door for Antonio Felix da Costa

Formula E
Jul 18, 2022
Mortara turns up the heat on Formula E title rivals in Marrakech scorcher Plus

Mortara turns up the heat on Formula E title rivals in Marrakech scorcher

Formula E’s unplanned return to Marrakech provided teams with a fresh challenge in old but familiar surroundings, as Edoardo Mortara kept his cool in melting conditions to triumph and retake the championship lead

Formula E
Jul 4, 2022
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022