Gary Paffett will continue his involvement in the Mercedes EQ Formula E team this season as both a sporting and technical advisor and as a reserve and development driver.
The two-time DTM champion raced for HWA Racelab, which acted as an operational and technical learning squad for Mercedes, in the 2018-19 campaign.
The new Mercedes EQ Formula E Team chose Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne as race drivers for its maiden campaign, although both Paffett and fellow Mercedes-contracted driver Esteban Guttierrez both tested during the summer.
“On the one hand, I’m obviously a bit disappointed that I won’t be competing for Mercedes-Benz in Formula E this season,” said Paffett, who is present at this week’s pre-season test at Valencia.
“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.”
Team principal Ian James emphasized Paffett’s experience and familiarity with Formula E while describing his new role.
“Gary has been an important pillar of our motorsport program for the past 16 years,” he said. “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.”