|P.O.B.||Bromley, Greater London, England|
|D.O.B.||24 March 1981|
|Date of Death||Unknown|
|Début||2018 Ad Diriyah E-Prix|
|Titles||0 (19th 2018/19)|
|Formula E Career|
|Total Entries||13 (13 Starts)|
Gary Paffett (born 24 March 1981 in Bromley, Greater London, England) is a British racing driver, who competed in the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship debut with HWA Racelab. A former DTM Champion and McLaren F1 test driver, Paffett joined FE as part of the Mercedes-Benz push into the series, following fellow Mercedes factory drivers Edoardo Mortara and Maro Engel into electric racing.
Paffett's maiden FE campaign proved to be unspectacular, with the British racer only scoring a handful of points. Furthermore, the British racer would be overlooked for a seat in 2019/20, although he was retained as a development driver for the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team.
Born in Bromley, Greater London, Paffett began his career in karting at the age of nine, achieving multiple titles in British karting championships for Martin Hines's Zip Young Guns team. With Hines's support, Paffett graduated to single-seaters in 1998, where he raced in the Formula Vauxhall Junior Championship where he finished seventh in the overall championship and claimed the Class B title with thirteen wins to his name. The following year, he graduated to the main championship with the Team Young Guns outfit, claiming the title in dominant fashion and receiving the McLaren BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award.
In 2000, Paffett moved to the British Formula 3 Championship with Fred Goddard Racing, where he continued his momentum by taking the title in the Scholarship Class category. The following year, he left for Europe to race in the German Formula 3 championship with Keke Rosberg's Team Rosberg outfit. In his first year, he claimed sixth in the championship before clinching the title a year later with seven wins, six pole positions, six fastest laps and eight podiums.
Formula One Test Driver
In 2005, Paffett was signed to the McLaren Formula One team as a test driver. Following Kimi Raikkonen's departure to Ferrari a year later, many considered Paffett the favourite to replace him, until then-GP2 champion Lewis Hamilton was officially confirmed with Paffett being re-signed as test driver following a failed attempt to join Honda. From 2007 to 2008, Paffett was linked to a potential drive with the aborted Prodrive F1 project.
In 2012, Paffett was made Force India reserve driver for the Australian Grand Prix due to Jules Bianchi's commitments to the Formula Renault 3.5 championship. In November 2014, Paffett left McLaren due to the incoming Honda engine deal, instead moving to Williams in 2016 as they became Mercedes premium engine customer in 2016.
The DTM Years
In 2003, Paffett was signed to race in the International F3000 championship with newcomers Brand Motorsport, but was left without a drive when the team withdrew its entry after the first round following financial issues. In May of that year, Paffett reunited with Keke Rosberg to replace Patrick Huisman in the DTM Championship from the Nürburgring round onwards. The following year, Paffett returned to contest the championship full time with the HWA Team, claiming his maiden win at Hockenheim and finishing runner-up to Mattias Ekström. Paffett remained with the outfit in 2005, where he claimed five victories and took the title.
After a year out of the sport to focus on his Formula One commitments, Paffett returned to the championship in 2007 with Persson Motorsport, finishing ninth and taking victory at Oschersleben. After a winless 2008 season that saw him repeat his ninth place finish, Paffett reunited with HWA, claimed four wins and finished vice-champion to Timo Scheider. He repeated this feat the following season to finish runner-up to teammate Paul di Resta. After finishing seventh without a win in 2011, Paffett bounced back the following year with three wins to take the runner-up spot to Bruno Spengler. He continued to race with the Mercedes-backed outfits (most notably the French feeder series giant ART Grand Prix) until the manufacturer's withdrawal from the championship at the end of 2018, in which he took his second title, 13 years after his first.
Formula E History
In January 2018, Paffett was named as an entrant into the 2018 Rookie Test at Marrakech with Venturi. There he finished seventeenth in the first session and tenth in the second. In July 2018, Paffett was linked to Formula E drives with Venturi and the incoming Mercedes precursor outfit HWA Racelab.
After months of speculation, Paffett was officially confirmed as one of the drivers for HWA on 8 October 2018, acting as their lead driver for the 2018/19 season. He was subsequently partnered by Stoffel Vandoorne for the season, with the pair making their public debuts at the 2018 Valencia Test. However, Paffett's official FE debut would not go too well, with the Brit retiring from the season opening 2018 Ad Diriyah E-Prix while running in the points.
Paffett would also retire from the following round in Marrakech, a collision between himself and teammate Vandoorne leaving both with heavy damage. Two low-key performances followed in Santiago and Mexico City, although both Paffett and HWA would work hard to improve their efforts at the following 2019 Mexico City Test. Indeed, that work would be rewarded at the 2019 Hong Kong E-Prix, with Paffett making his first appearance in the Super Pole shootout, before claiming eighth in the race, his maiden points finish.
Unfortunately for Paffett any hopes of building momentum from that result were ended by two retirements in the following two races, both the result of snapped driveshafts. The Brit would, however, bounce back to claim eighth in Paris, before a barren run of five races outside of the points, the highlight being another Super Pole appearance in Berlin. Indeed, Paffett would have to wait until the season ending 2019 New York City E-Prix II to claim another point, ending the season in nineteenth in the Championship with nine points to his credit.
Full Formula E Record
Shown below are a series of tables outlining Gary Paffett's career in Formula E in statistical form.
Formula E Entries
The list below includes all of the teams and cars, as well as overall finishing positions for Gary Paffett during their FE career:
|Gary Paffett's Overall Formula E Record|
|2018/19||HWA Racelab||17||Venturi VFE 05||19th||9|
Below is a table showing Gary Paffett's full Formula E record.
|FIA Formula E Championship Record|
Images and Videos:
- 'Paffett to drive for HWA Racelab', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 08/10/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/october/paffett-to-drive-for-hwa-racelab/, (Accessed 08/10/2018)
- 'Frijns wins while Vergne claims historic two-time Championship title in New York', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/07/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/july/race-report-nyc-2-2019, (Accessed 15/07/2019)
- 'Merecedes-Benz EQ reveal the Silver Arrow 01, Vandroorne & de Vries complete line up', fiaformuale.com, (FIA Formula E, 11/09/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/september/mercedes-2019-200challenger-revealed, (Accessed 11/09/2019)
- 'Gary Paffett Official Website - Biography', garypaffett.com, (Gary Paffett Official Website, 2013), http://www.garypaffett.com/profile/biography, (Accessed 31/07/2018)
- 'Gary Paffett Official Website - Career History', garypaffett.com, (Gary Paffett Official Website, 2013), http://www.garypaffett.com/profile/career-history, (Accessed 31/07/2018)
- 'McLaren confirms Paffett as test driver', motorsport.com, (Motorsport.com, 29/12/2005), https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/mclaren-confirms-paffett-as-test-driver/, (Accessed 31/07/2018)
- 'Klien gets the Honda test job', grandprix.com, (grandprix.com, 15/11/2006), http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns17773.html, (Accessed 31/07/2018)
- 'Paffett hoping for Prodrive seat', auto123.com, (Auto123.com, 18/05/2007), https://www.auto123.com/en/racing-news/paffett-hoping-for-prodrive-seat?artid=82685, (Accessed 31/07/2018)
- 'Paffett called up as Force India reserve', motorsport.com, (Motorsport.com, 15/03/2012), https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/paffett-called-up-as-force-india-reserve/, (Accessed 31/07/2018)
- 'McLaren F1 team parts company with test driver Gary Paffett', autosport.com, (Autosport, 17/11/2014), https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/116802/mclaren-and-paffett-part-company, (Accessed 17/07/2018)
- 'Ex-McLaren test driver Gary Paffett joins Williams in simulator role', eurosport.com, (Eurosport, 02/02/2016), https://www.eurosport.com/formula-1/ex-mclaren-test-driver-gary-paffett-joins-williams-in-simulator-role_sto5098728/story.shtml, (Accessed 31/07/2018)
- 'Gary Paffett - F1 Driver Profile', espn.co.uk, (ESPN), http://en.espn.co.uk/mclaren/motorsport/driver/69195.html, (Accessed 31/07/2018)
- 'Paffett replaces Huisman at Mercedes', motorsport.com, (Motorsport.com, 22/05/2003), https://www.motorsport.com/dtm/news/paffett-replaces-huisman-at-mercedes/amp/, (Accessed 31/07/2018)
- 'Hockenheim 2004: Paffett breaks through', crash.net, (Crash.net, 18/04/2004), https://www.crash.net/dtm/race-report/26910/1/hockenheim-2004-paffett-breaks-through, (Accessed 31/07/2018)
- 'Formula E rookie test driver line-up revealed', fiaformulae.com, (ABB FIA Formula E, 04/01/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/january/formula-e-rookie-test-driver-line-up-revealed/, (Accessed 31/07/2018)
- 'Mortara, Paffett Favorites for Final Seat at Venturi', e-racing365.com, (e-racing365, 24/07/2018), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/mortara-paffett-favorites-to-partner-massa-at-venturi/, (Accessed 31/07/2018)
- 'Gary Paffett in discussions with Mercedes over HWA Formula E drive', autosport.com, (Autosport, 30/07/2018), https://www.autosport.com/fe/news/137743/paffett-in-mercedes-talks-over-hwa-fe-drive, (Accessed 17/07/2018)
- Alex Kalinauckas, New team HWA announces Paffett as first driver, motorsport.com, (Motorsport.com, 08/10/2018), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/new-team-hwa-announces-paffett-as-first-driver/3191786/, (Accessed 08/10/2018
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- 'Race Report: Da Costa - 'We did it baby, we're back!', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/12/2018), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/december/race-report-saudi, (Accessed 15/12/2018)
- 'Mahindra's d'Ambrosio made up with manic win in Marrakesh', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 12/01/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/january/race-report---2019-marrakesh, (Accessed 12/01/2019)
- 'Madness in Mexico sees di Grassi clinch miraculous win in epic photo finish', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 16/02/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/february/race-report-mexico-2019, (Accessed 17/02/2019)
- 'Bird victorious in furious battle for first on Hong Kong Harbourfront', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/03/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/march/race-report-hong-kong-2019, (Accessed 11/03/2019)
- 'Emotional maiden win for Evans in Rome, Lotterer second', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/04/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/april/race-report-rome-2019, (Accessed 13/04/2019)
- 'Di Grassi victorious in the battle for Berlin, home race victory for Audi', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 25/05/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/may/race-report-berlin-2019, (Accessed 25/05/2019)
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