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Unfortunate collision proves costly for Clare-driver Gary Paffett in Rome E-Prix

By Sport Haverhill

Gary Paffett was prevented from finishing the first of the European races in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, in Rome, after getting caught up in a multi-car collision.

The Clare-based driver failed to finish the Italian race at the weekend due to what he felt was down to the actions of Argentine driver Jose Maria Lopez.

Speaking after the race, Paffett’s frustration at what had happened was clear.

Gary Paffett after a disappointing early end to his Formula E race in Rome, ItalyPicture: HWA AG (8666172)
Gary Paffett after a disappointing early end to his Formula E race in Rome, ItalyPicture: HWA AG (8666172)

“That was very disappointing. Qualifying was tough. I didn’t really put together a good lap,” he explained.

“The pace seemed pretty good on the first couple of laps. I was able to overtake a few drivers and I felt very good in the car.”

Paffett went into the back of Lopez’ car, before then being hit himself by cars behind him. The race was then red flagged and the Brit was unable to finish it due to the damage to his HWA RACELAB VFE05.

The incident will have been especially disappointing for Paffett, given his promising start to the race in the Italian capital. Despite finishing 19th and 16th respectively in the opening two practice sessions, the former McLaren F1 test driver found himself in 13th position early on in the race.

The British driver also voiced his frustration at how he saw Lopez’ actions during the race.

“Lopez - I don’t know what he did there. He completely missed the apex in a corner and then went straight into the wall,” he said.

“When you are right behind a car that drives into the wall, there is nothing you can do.

“The front of the car was damaged and that was the end of the race for me. It was a real shame,” he added.

HWA team principal, Ulrich Fritz, was also clearly frustrated with the result.

“It is a shame that Gary was out of the race so early on, through no fault of his own. He too could have been on for a good result today,” said the German.

Next up for Paffett in the race calendar is round eight of the season, taking place in Paris on April 27.

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