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Clare's Gary Paffett finishes 16th in CBMM Niobium Mexico E-Grand Prix in latest round of Formula E Championship

By Sport Haverhill

Gary Paffett was disappointed by his 16th place finish at the weekend’s CBMM Niobium Mexico City E-Prix, but felt there were further positive signs as he navigates his first season in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

Gary Paffett has found Formula E tough since swapping series from the DTM Picture: HWA AG
Gary Paffett has found Formula E tough since swapping series from the DTM Picture: HWA AG

The driver from Clare completed the full race distance for the second time this season, at the fourth time of asking, with Paffett qualifying and finishing in 16th place in a dramatic race.

The two-time DTM champion slowly progressed through the race in the latter stages after struggling early on, moving from 21st to 16th in the final 10 laps of the race as others struggled with energy saving and avoiding contact.

Crossing the finishing line in 16th place, Paffett finished as the highest-placed HWA RACELAB driver but ultimately rounded off a fairly disappointing trip to Central America.

“There were good and bad aspects to the race,” he said. “The result is obviously not what we had hoped for. It is not easy when you are starting from P16.

“However, we kept out of all the trouble and managed to finish the race. We have learned more and made progress.

“Unfortunately, we came away from Mexico without any points, but there were definitely a few positives.”

Ulrich Fritz, Team Principal of HWA RACELAB, also sees this past weekend as ‘pretty disappointing’, but sees promising signs.

He said: “The weekend did not run as we had wished. The result, with both cars at the back of the field, is pretty disappointing, to be honest.

“It all began with difficult sessions in free practice, which in turn compromised the rest of an action-packed race day. The race was pretty chaotic and there was not much in there for us. On the positive, we gained some more mileage, as both cars finished the race.

“Both drivers did a solid job and, generally, had a good race pace. We can definitely build on this.”

Race day at the 2.1km Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez started with Paffett getting to grips with the demanding 17-corner circuit in the two free practice sessions and the challenge ahead was evident as he finished both sessions in 20th place, but ultimately qualifying in 16th.

The next round of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship heads to Asia with the Hong Kong E-Prix on March 10.

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