The Mercedes Formula E team has announced that Gary Paffett will act as its test and development driver throughout the upcoming 2019/20 season.

Paffett lost out on his seat at the team to recently-crowned Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries, with Mercedes taking over from its HWA-affiliate entry for season six, which will mark the German manufacturer’s maiden campaign in the series.

Paffett has also been named as an official sporting and technical advisor to the Mercedes FE outfit.

The Briton finished 19th in the 2018/19 drivers’ standings while racing for HWA, taking a best finish of eighth place on two occasions in Hong Kong and Paris.

"On the one hand, I'm obviously a bit disappointed that I won't be competing for Mercedes-Benz in Formula E this season," Paffett said.

"But on the other, I'm very excited to be part of the team and to be supporting Mercedes-Benz in their first year in Formula E as Reserve and Development Driver.

“At the same time, it will be very interesting to help out on a sporting level at the race weekends, trying to get the best possible performance out of the two race drivers and the entire team.

“It's very important to have a racing driver as part of the management team. I understand how drivers think and how to get the best out of them.

“In me, they have a partner to discuss their performance with and to talk about the car. It's a new role for me and one that I'm looking forward to."

Paffett’s relationship with Mercedes has stretched back for the majority of his racing career, having competed in 185 DTM races for Mercedes between 2003 and 2018, claiming the 2005 and 2018 drivers’ titles.

Mercedes FE team principal Ian James believes Paffett’s vast experience within the Mercedes fold will serve the new squad well as it makes its foray into the all-electric series.

"Gary has been an important pillar of our motorsport programme for the past 16 years,” James added. “Gary Paffett's name is inextricably associated with Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.

“He is not only an exceptional driver but also a charismatic and judicious leader, which qualities he has repeatedly demonstrated in the DTM as our team captain.

“In addition, there is hardly any driver who is able to push forward the development of a car better than he can.

"We are therefore delighted to have appointed Gary as our Sporting and Technical Advisor and as the Reserve and Development Driver for the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team.

“There is no doubt that he will continue to play a major role in the future development of the team, as indeed he always has."

Paffett's HWA teammate and ex-McLaren Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne completes Mercedes' driver line-up, partnering de Vries.

 

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