Paffett puzzled by Hamilton’s defection to Mercedes

Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday 16 March 2012.Long time McLaren test driver and Mercedes DTM star Gary Paffett says that Lewis Hamilton’s decision to switch to Mercedes is puzzling.

Throughout Briton Hamilton’s six-year racing tenure with McLaren, countryman Paffett, now 31, has split his DTM career with his F1 testing role.

He said at the Autosport International show in Birmingham that he does not understand why Hamilton would swap McLaren for Mercedes.

“Some drivers move for their own certain reasons,” said Paffett. “I think a few of the times they move people don’t understand it and I don’t understand this one.

“I knew Lewis very well, I used to kart with him when he was ten years old. Lewis has solely been focused on winning, that is his aim.

“He wants to break records, he wants to win the most championships, win the most races and I see his best place to do that at McLaren. But obviously he wasn’t comfortable there anymore or he fancied a new challenge,” he added.

Paffett’s comments are interesting, as for his entire McLaren career, he has also driven for Mercedes in DTM, the premier German touring car series.

“Mercedes are a big manufacturer and they are putting a lot of effort into their F1 team,” he said.

“I’m sure they will get better, but I don’t think this year Lewis is going to be in a better position than he would be with McLaren.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Max Smoot

    Paffett himself should have been on the race team years ago.

  • Ian

    Agreed, Max! Gary’s been seriously overlooked by McLaren, which I don’t understand at all. Great driver & a good fit at McLaren. A real shame. Maybe we should be asking Martin Whitmarsh about this (and about DiResta).

  • McLarenfan

    I would have tested Gary Paffett against some of the other drivers with a view to giving him a run but the powers that be want 12 year old’s these days