F1 birthdays: 24/3/2011

Gary Paffett, DTM driver and McLaren test driver, and of course today’s birthday boy, has not made it into F1 many times. In 2006 he was one of McLaren’s trio of test drivers, alongside Pedro de la Rosa and Lewis Hamilton. But it was GP2 champion Lewis who got the McLaren drive the next year when JP Montoya left the team.
It’s not like 30-year-old Gary has a bad racing record. He was DTM champion in 2005, having come second the year before, and in the last two seasons he came second both times as well, since he finished runner-up to Force India’s new boy Paul di Resta. Still, with Paul out the picture he might be able to get another DTM championship.
He’s definitely a good driver, if a little old to become an F1 rookie now. DTM isn’t as popular as F1, but it’s a good challenge. He still gets to drive F1 cars, having taken the MP4-25 out this year in winter testing. Alongside de la Rosa he’s a valuable asset for the team.

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