Gary Paffett

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Gary Paffett
Garypaffett.jpg
Paffett as a test driver of McLaren in 2006.
Nationality United Kingdom British
Born (1981-03-24) 24 March 1981 (age 33)
Bromley (England)
2014 DTM
Debut season 2003
Current team AMG Mercedes
Car no. 2
Former teams Team Rosberg, Persson Motorsport
Starts 102
Wins 19
Poles 10
Fastest laps 8
Best finish 1st in 2005
Previous series
200512
2003
2001–02
2000
1998
1998–99
1997
Formula One testing
International Formula 3000
German F3
British F3
FPA Winter Series
Formula Vauxhall Junior
FVauxhall Junior W. Series
Championship titles
2005
2002
2000
1999
1998
1997
DTM
German F3
British F3 National Class
Formula Vauxhall Junior
FVauxhall Junior Class B
FVauxhall Junior W. Series
Awards
1999 McLaren Autosport Award

Gary Paffett (born 24 March 1981 in Bromley) is a British racing driver in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. He is also a test driver for the McLaren Formula One team. Paffett progressed through the ranks of karting and junior formulae in the United Kingdom, winning the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in 1999. He now lives in Ousden, Suffolk, England.

1993 to 1999: Early Years[edit]

In 1993, Paffett joined the British Cadet Championships and earned himself a respectable third place. A year later he moved to British Junior TKM Championship and finished second overall. In 1995, he won the British Junior TKM Championship and also second place in the Junior ICA European Championship. Successes continued into 1996, winning the McLaren Mercedes Karting Champion of the Future award and also second in the British Junior ICA Championship. The next year he moved into single-seaters, winning the Formula Vauxhall Junior Winter Series, picking up the best newcomer's award in that series in the process. In 1998, he was Formula Vauxhall Junior Class B Champion with thirteen fastest laps, thirteen poles and thirteen wins, dominating every race of the season. He also set a track record which had never before been set by any "B" class car. He got promoted to the Formula Vauxhall Junior and won the championship with two track records, four wins, five fastest laps, three pole positions. At the season's end he was awarded the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year award.

Formula Three[edit]

Moving up to Formula Three, he competed in the Scholarship class of the British F3 championship, becoming champion with thirteen wins, thirteen fastest laps and thirteen pole positions. In 2001, moved overseas to the German F3 Championship racing with Keke Rosberg's race team, finishing sixth overall. Remaining in the series for 2002, he dominated the field winning the championship without ever losing the lead.

DTM[edit]

Paffett won his third DTM race in succession, by winning the season-opener at Hockenheim in 2010.

For 2003, Gary signed to drive for the new Brand Motorsport team in F3000, but the team withdrew from the series leaving Paffett and his team-mate Nicolas Minassian without drives. Mercedes contacted him and signed him to drive in the DTM with Rosberg's Mercedes AMG team in a year-old car, eventually finishing 11th overall. A year later, he was runner up with an up-to-date AMG-Mercedes C-Class and the HWA team taking four wins and one pole position. He was then champion the following year with five wins and four pole positions. In 2007, Gary returned to the DTM in a 2006 specification race car for the Persson Motorsport team alongside his McLaren F1 testing duties. At the second round at Oschersleben, Paffett became the first driver in the history of the series to win in a year old car.[1] After a further year in older machinery, he was promoted back to the current Mercedes model for 2009, and finished runner-up in the championship, behind Timo Scheider.

Formula One[edit]

Paffett testing for McLaren at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in December 2008.

In December 2005 it was announced that he would not be returning to the DTM series to defend his title but instead would test full-time for McLaren-Mercedes during the 2006 season alongside Pedro de la Rosa. After the departure of Kimi Räikkönen to Ferrari, it was speculated that he may have been in contention for a 2007 race seat in the team alongside World Champion Fernando Alonso. However due to the arrival of GP2 Champion, Lewis Hamilton, Paffett was overlooked for the drive.

Further to this, Paffett was released from his McLaren contract in October 2006, to search for better opportunities. It was widely speculated that he was likely to sign as a test driver at Honda, but Christian Klien was signed instead.[2] A few weeks later however, Paffett was re-signed by McLaren as the team's second test driver, alongside de la Rosa.[3]

He publicly stated that he was looking for a Formula One race seat for 2008,[4] and was linked with the abortive Prodrive F1 project for that season. However, Prodrive failed to make it to the grid so Paffett stayed with McLaren as a test driver.

Paffett was signed as Force India's reserve driver for the 2012 Australian Grand Prix as regular reserve driver Jules Bianchi was unavailable due to Formula Renault 3.5 Series testing commitments.[5]

Racing record[edit]

Complete International Formula 3000 results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap.)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 DC Points
2003 Brand Motorsport IMO
14
CAT
A1R
MON
NUR
MAG
SIL
HOC
HUN
MNZ
NC 0

Complete Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

 Year  Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pos Points
2003 Team Rosberg AMG-Mercedes CLK-DTM HOC
ADR
NÜR
Ret
LAU
15
NOR
Ret
DON
9
NÜR
8
A1R
6
ZAN
12
HOC
18†
11th 4
2004 HWA Team AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 2004 HOC
1
EST
13
ADR
4
LAU
DSQ
NOR
1
SHA+
1
NÜR
1
OSC
4
ZAN
4
BRN
3
HOC
3
2nd 57
2005 HWA Team AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 2005 HOC
2
LAU
1
SPA
8
BRN
4
OSC
1
NOR
1
NÜR
3
ZAN
1
LAU
2
IST
1
HOC
3
1st 84
2007 Persson Motorsport AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 2006 HOC
8
OSC
1
LAU
8
BRH
10
NOR
4
MUG
Ret
ZAN
9
NÜR
12
CAT
5
HOC
Ret
9th 20.5
2008 Persson Motorsport AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 2007 HOC
7
OSC
11
MUG
12
LAU
10
NOR
DSQ
ZAN
11
NÜR
4
BRH
8
CAT
11
BUG
4
HOC
11
9th 13
2009 HWA Team AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 2009 HOC
Ret
LAU
1
NOR
5
ZAN
1
OSC
5
NÜR
8
BRH
4
CAT
4
DIJ
1
HOC
1
2nd 59
2010 HWA Team AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 2009 HOC
1
VAL
7
LAU
5
NOR
6
NÜR
3
ZAN
1
BRH
5
OSC
4
HOC
4
ADR
2
SHA
1
2nd 67
2011 HWA Team AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 2009 HOC
6
ZAN
9
SPL
8
LAU
4
NOR
Ret
NÜR
8
BRH
4
OSC
4
VAL
8
HOC
5
7th 25
2012 HWA Team AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse Coupé HOC
1
LAU
2
BRH
1
SPL
3
NOR
4
NÜR
6
ZAN
7
OSC
2
VAL
Ret
HOC
2
2nd 145
2013 HWA Team AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse Coupé HOC
4
BRH
6
SPL
9
LAU
1
NOR
18†
MOS
5
NÜR
17
OSC
6
ZAN
9
HOC
9
6th 69

* Season in progress. - Driver did not finish, but completed 90% of the race distance.

+ - A non-championship one-off race was held in 2004 at the streets of Shanghai, China.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The 10 Mercedes-Benz drivers". Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. 2007-03-29. Retrieved 2007-04-20. 
  2. ^ "Klien gets the Honda test job". Grandprix.com. 2006-11-15. Retrieved 2006-11-15. 
  3. ^ "Lewis Hamilton joins Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes". mclaren.com. 2006-11-24. Retrieved 2006-11-24. 
  4. ^ "F1 in the news". itv.com/f1. 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2006-12-16. 
  5. ^ "Gary Paffett steps in as Sahara Force India’s reserve driver this week". ForceIndiaF1.com (Force India). 15 March 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Toshihiro Kaneishi
German Formula Three Champion
2002
Succeeded by
João Paulo de Oliveira
Preceded by
Mattias Ekström
German Touring Car Champion
2005
Succeeded by
Bernd Schneider
Awards
Preceded by
Jenson Button
McLaren Autosport BRDC Award
1999
Succeeded by
Anthony Davidson