McLaren extends contract with Paffett 5 July, 2011 Gary Paffett Jul.5 (McLaren) Vodafone McLaren Mercedes announced that they have extended its contract with Gary Paffett for the 2012 season as a test, development & reserve driver for the team, signing a deal that allows him to continue dovetailing his Formula 1 test duties with his racing career. Paffett joined McLaren in 2005 and has played a key role in the development of the team’s race- and championship-winning cars. Paffett said: “I’m extremely pleased to have renewed my relationship with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. As everybody knows, success in Formula 1 is developed through the strength and duration of relationships: I’ve been a part of this team for more than five years, and it’s a place where I really feel happy and comfortable, and where I can confidently speak my mind. “I’m proud that my contribution has enabled the team to remain a race- and championship-winning force in Formula 1, and I truly believe that we’ll continue to grow and improve in the future.” Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh added: “Gary has become a vital part of our technical support and development team – both at the track and in the simulator. “Both Gary and the team believes that this deal will underline his reputation as a strong development driver and a true team player.” Paffett, manager, former grand prix racer Mark Blundell, said: “This is a great deal for Gary that really underlines the strength of his ongoing relationship with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Once again, Gary has shown he has the skills and capacity as a development driver to make a difference.” Tweet Related NewsButton linked with Le Mans switch as McLaren ditherBoullier: I understand Jenson may not feel comfortableButton not concerned about his F1 futureAlonso now with Movistar backing key to 2015 gridHamilton staying at Mercedes, Alonso to McLaren deal doneMcLaren preview Russian Grand PrixAlonso in tough negotiations with McLarenMarko predicts Alonso is heading back to McLarenMcLaren deny Stroll to buy into teamMcLaren planning private Honda tests?