Gary Paffett has been announced as sporting director for McLaren’s Extreme E team, a position he will fill alongside his team manager role in the company’s Formula E squad.
The two-time DTM champion has a long history with McLaren, serving as a test driver for its Formula 1 team between 2006-14. During that time he was also linked to the race seat that went to Lewis Hamilton in 2007. He returned to the company last year to helm its new Formula E program, having previously held a position on the management team of Mercedes’ Formula E entry that McLaren took over last year.
“Over the past few years, it’s been great to have seen Gary transition from being an outstanding driver, to also being a valuable addition off the track – providing a link between the sporting, technical and marketing functions,” said Ian James, managing director of McLaren Electric Racing, the Bicester Heritage-based operation that combines both McLaren’s Formula E and Extreme E efforts.
“With this experience and his dedication to keep developing both himself as well as the team around him, I’m confident Gary will be a superb addition to our Extreme E operations. For Season 3, we’re hoping to capitalize on the great work the team has put in throughout its inaugural season, building a solid foundation, as well as further utilizing the synergies between our Extreme E and Formula E operations, coming together under NEOM McLaren Electric Racing.”
McLaren joined Extreme E ahead of the all-electric category’s second season last year, and claimed a best result of second in the season finale in Uruguay – a result that came after the team won on the road in Chile the round prior, but was subsequently penalized for striking a track marker.
“It’s great to have the responsibility of Sporting Director of the NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team and I’m really excited to work with the group of close-knit people that we have in the team, including Emma [Gilmour] and Tanner [Foust] , who showed great progress and strong performances last season,” said Paffett. “McLaren Racing entered Extreme E in 2022 and the team has been successful thus far, with some fantastic results towards the end of the year, culminating in a podium finish at the final race in Uruguay.
“The target for the team is to continue that progression to move towards the front of the field. It’s a very competitive championship with some really fantastic teams and drivers involved, so it will be extremely tough competition. I’m looking forward to the start of the season in NEOM, Saudi Arabia.”