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McLaren

Here's what ex-McLaren F1 tester Paffett is up to now

Former McLaren F1 test and reserve driver Gary Paffett has continued his steps into motorsport management by becoming a Sporting Director.

Gary Paffett Mc Laren Launch 2007 Fernando Alonso Lewis Hamilton
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Gary Paffett has been confirmed as the new Sporting Director for the McLaren Extreme E team, adding to his Formula E duties.

The long-time McLaren employee was test driver for the F1 team when the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Juan-Pablo Montoya raced for the Woking team.

A promising youngster, Paffett took part in a young driver test for McLaren in 2000, before becoming fully affiliated with the team in 2005 as a test driver. However, he missed out on full-time F1 drives in the late-2000s.

A two-time DTM champion, the Briton's reputation for car development meant he was frequently called upon as test driver, driving several McLarens and even testing for Williams in Bahrain in 2017.

He had one season as Stoffel Vandoorne's teammate at HWA Racelab (Mercedes) in Formula E before stepping out of the race seat.

Initially taking advisory roles with the Mercedes-EQ FE team, he would later become the Team Manager of their championship-winning team, a role he kept as Mercedes transitioned into McLaren for the current Formula E season.

With the launch of their Extreme E programme in 2022, Paffett's role at McLaren has expanded to work in 'sporting and technical' aspects of the team.

"It’s great to have the responsibility of Sporting Director of the NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team and I’m really excited to work with the group of close-knit people that we have in the team, including [drivers] Emma [Gilmour] and Tanner [Foust], who showed great progress and strong performances last season," commented Paffett.

“McLaren Racing entered Extreme E in 2022 and the team has been successful thus far, with some fantastic results towards the end of the year, culminating in a podium finish at the final race in Uruguay.

"The target for the team is to continue that progression to move towards the front of the field. It’s a very competitive championship with some really fantastic teams and drivers involved, so it will be extremely tough competition. I’m looking forward to the start of the season in NEOM, Saudi Arabia.”

In McLaren's first Extreme E season they finished P5 in the Teams' Championship (out of ten teams), with a best result of P2 at the season finale in Uruguay.

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