Williams has announced Gary Paffett will join its team ahead of the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship season in a simulator and development role.

Though he has never started a grand prix, Paffett brings extensive F1 experience to the role having worked with McLaren as a test driver between 2001 and 2013, participating in a 72 official test days and clocking 4971 laps at the wheel of an F1 car.

Also a former DTM champion, Paffett will assist Williams in the vehicle science department, developing the Williams-Mercedes FW38 and working closely with the team to provide feedback to develop the car.

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"I am really pleased to be joining the Williams team as the simulator driver to aid in the development of this year's car. The team has such a great pedigree and history in Formula One. I look forward to supporting the team over this year in my new role."

"We're delighted to have someone with Gary's experience join us at Williams," added deputy team principal Claire Williams. "He is a highly professional racing driver and his level of testing knowledge, and ability to analyse data, will significantly help to drive forward development of the FW38 throughout the season."

Paffett is part replaces Susie Wolff, who conducted simulator work as part of her test and reserve driver role.

For 2016, Williams has also signed young Canadian Lance Stroll in a development driver role.