The Mercedes-affiliated team has unveiled its Gen2 Formula E car and has announced ex-McLaren F1 tester and one-time DTM champion as one-half of its 2018/19 driver lineup.

Officially named HWA RACELAB, the team will use customer Venturi powertrains and will also utilise the team’s technical expertise as it targets a “humble approach” to its debut season in the championship.

HWA AG CEO and Mercedes DTM boss Ulrich Fritz has been named as team principal, while respected Lucas di Grassi’s former race engineer at Audi, Franco Chiocchetti, will take up a trackside operational role with the team.

Paffett, who last raced single seaters in 2003, said of his appointment, “”I am really excited about driving for HWA in the fifth season of Formula E,” said Paffett, who drove for Venturi at the inaugural FE rookie test in Marrakech in January.

“I’m really excited about driving for HWA in the fifth season of Formula E. This is basically the first time for 15 years that I will have switched series and cars. It’ll 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’ll certainly not be easy at first, but we’re ready and looking forward to it.

“Formula E is a very promising series with great prospects. It’s great to be part of it.”

Team boss Fritz added, “We’re looking forward to the new challenges that come with Formula E. Over the past weeks and months, we’ve worked very hard to lay a solid foundation, upon which to enter this fiercely-competitive series.

“In doing so, we’ve benefited greatly from the experience gained in cooperation with the Venturi team, whom we supported last season as a technical partner. We’re now well positioned with our own team to compete under our own flag.

“We’re approaching this challenge with a healthy mixture of confidence and respect. The season ahead will be a learning year for HWA Racelab, but I’m confident that we’ll very quickly establish ourselves and be competitive in the series.”

The identity of Paffett’s teammate is yet to be confirmed, although outgoing McLaren F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne has emerged as a surprise frontrunner after his McLaren contract was not renewed.

E-Racing 365 recently reported that the Belgian has held talks with the team and has already sampled the team’s Gen2 car.

Image Credit: HWA