How Gary Paffett left DTM as Champion to find new challenges in Formula E

Imagine racing in one of motorsport’s best championships, competing for a top manufacturer and heading for your second drivers’ title. Sounds like the dream, right? For Gary Paffett, 2018 should have been a simple: focus on winning the DTM Championship title with Mercedes.

DTM was a series Paffett had raced in for the past fifteen years with great success but that was all to come to an end when Mercedes announced they would be quitting DTM at the end of the 2018 season, in favour of the all-electric Formula E Championship.

“Shock. Utter shock,” was how Paffett described to katyfairman.com when explaining his initial reaction to the news that Mercedes were leaving DTM. “It was something that shocked all of us, it really did. Nobody expected it to happen. There are always rumours here or there about one manufacturer pulling out of this or that, but Mercedes have been the ones that have been [in DTM] through everything. They are the ones that held it together when it was struggling. They had been there for thirty years without a break. So, it was a big shock not only to the outside world but to us in the team because nobody saw it coming.”

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Powered Up for Paris: what to expect from the Formula E ePrix

Formula E returns to the Parisian streets for a third consecutive year this weekend. This season, which started in December when the all-electric championship visited Hong Kong, now only has five races remaining in the battle to decide the victor of the season four drivers’ title.

Currently Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne looks to be the favourite, 18 points ahead of Sam Bird who is second in the standings, but recent races have left the former F1 driver craving more than just totalling up championship points. He wants wins, especially in front of his home crowd this weekend.

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