Stoffel Vandoorne will compete in the fifth season of Formula E after signing a deal with HWA AG, a Mercedes-backed entry. It will be the German manufacturers first season in the series as the sport sees the introduction of the Gen 2 cars.
Vandoorne will partner recently crowned DTM champion Gary Paffett. The Belgian will leave McLaren in Formula 1 at the end of the year as the Woking squad confirmed its junior driver Lando Norris would take his seat after a disappointing season.
"I am honoured that HWA have signed me for their Formula E programme,” Vandoorne said. “HWA are such a great team with a long and successful history in motorsport. All the people I’ve met so far are really passionate about racing. Also, it's great to work alongside such an experienced driver as Gary Paffett. I am pretty sure that we will benefit from each other during the season.”
HWA join the grid for season five before it becomes Mercedes for the 2019/20 season. The next season of FE will kick off in December in Saudi Arabia, and Vandoorne becomes the seventh former F1 driver to be confirmed for the upcoming season.
"Stoffel has demonstrated his talent and his speed not only in Formula 1, but also in the 2015 GP2 which he won by a wide margin," said HWA boss Ulrich Fritz. “In Stoffel and Gary, we have two Formula E rookies on our team, which in any case is making its own debut in the electric series. We all have a lot to learn together.
“However, Gary and are Stoffel outstanding racing drivers who have a wealth of experience gained in Formula 1 and in the DTM. Both know how to work in collaboration with the engineers to develop and fine-tune a new racing car.
“These are precisely the sort of strengths that will count for a lot in our first Formula E campaign. It gives me confidence that we and our two drivers are well prepared for the challenges ahead.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing