Stoffel Vandoorne won’t have much of a winter break when he concludes his year with McLaren in Abu Dhabi, the Belgian embarking immediately on a season of Formula E racing with HWA Racelab.

Vandoorne’s move to the all-electric series for its fifth season was widely anticipated after his demise from Formula 1 following a two-year unproductive spell with McLaren.

The 26-year-old’s deal with the new HWA outfit – an official Mercedes partner for the manufacturer’s Formula E endeavor – was confirmed on Monday ahead of the start of pre-season testing in Valencia.

  • Vandoorne would only consider a return to F1 if ‘conditions are favourable’

“I am honoured that HWA have signed me for their Formula E programme,” said Vandoorne who joins 2018 DTM champion Gary Paffett at the German squad.

“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 team boss Ulrich Fritz believes his team will have two strong rookies on hand to steer its electric ambitions.

“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,” he said.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

There will be no lack of familiar faces on the Formula E grid for Vandoorne, starting with former Williams driver Felipe Massa who will also join the series when the season kicks off in Saudi Arabia on December 15.

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