Interview with Gary Paffett – HWA RACELAB (2005 & 2018 DTM Champion, ex-F1 test driver for McLaren & Williams F1 simulator driver)
Tony Hall: Gary, firstly congratulations on winning this year’s DTM championship, you must be very happy with that?
Gary Paffett: Yes, extremely happy.
TH: Gary, why the change from DTM racing to Formula E? There is such a big difference isn’t there?
GP: Yes, there is, but the thing that made me do it is that Mercedes is pulling out of DTM and I have been with them so long. So when I heard they would be involved in Formula E I thought about it. I really did not want to start racing with another team in DTM even though I loved DTM. Then when I had the chance to test drive a Formula E car in Marrakesh I thought about it a lot more. I knew Mercedes were coming into Formula E next year so when I got offered a drive with HWA I took it.
TH: You have now had a day and a half of testing the new generation Formula E car and then this afternoon driven a simulated race distance, how has it gone so far?
GP: It has been a challenge, really different and especially on the push laps (extra power mode) and controlling the motor, finding the braking points, then going back to normal mode. Qualifying will be difficult I am sure.
TH: Do you know any of the circuits where you will be racing when the season begins in December?
GP: Only Marrakesh where I tested at last year, so that’s the only one I know.
TH: Have you raced here at this circuit before (Circuito de Ricardo Tormo) and did you like it?
GP: Yes, I have raced here before and it is a great place. Mind you, with Mercedes (DTM) we never liked coming here because we did not have much luck. Also it is nothing like where Formula E will be racing in the coming season.
TH: Gary, you have a new team-mate for this season, Stoffel Vandoorne, do you both get on well?
GP: Yes I think so. We haven’t spent much time together but we have had a couple of days and then this testing, so yes. Also the team (HWA) are really working well together and a lot of late nights with lots to do and learn as a new team. So yes, so far so good.
TH: Gary, a cheeky question, do you own and drive an electric car?
GP: No, but I did have a hybrid a couple of years ago.
TH: Thank you Gary. We wish you every success in your new venture in Formula E.