Paffett steps up race for McLaren ride

Mon, 10 July 2006, 11:14

With Juan Pablo Montoya confirming the vacancy of his McLaren seat, the race to fill it in 2007 has stepped up a gear.

Probably top of the list to occupy the role alongside Fernando Alonso next year is Ron Dennis’ GP2 protégé Lewis Hamilton, but existing team test driver Gary Paffett thinks he is even more qualified.

25-year-old Paffett, who won the DTM championship last year, told ITV: ”Lewis is doing a good job in GP2, but I’m driving a formula one car around and he’s not.

”If you want to race a F1 car you’ve got to have driven one, and that’s what I’ve got going for me, so I’m in a better position as I see it.”

But while either Hamilton or Paffett are likely to get the nod, one or the other is similarly destined to start his grand prix career next year at the wheel of a rival team’s car.

Paffett agreed: ”My main aim is to get in a race seat, so if we have to go elsewhere to do that then no problem.”


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