Quick Chat: Gary Paffett
Gary, that was a horrific smash. How do you feel now?
Gary Paffett: A bit bruised. I have various pains and a few cuts here and there. But in general, I’m still in one piece, which is really good after such an accident. First of all, I have to say a massive thank-you to the people who designed the car. We keep saying how incredibly safe these DTM cars are nowadays. Here at the Norisring, we’ve seen just how safe they really are. The medical team at the circuit was really good, and the people at the hospital were amazing. They were very good at their job. They did scans and X-rays, and everything looked OK. When I told them how fast I was going when I crashed, they were quite shocked. They were quite surprised that I got out of the car without any injuries. I was pretty lucky today.
Can you describe the accident from your perspective in the cockpit?
Gary Paffett: It was really scary. I was going wheel to wheel with Jamie with the DRS open, and at the end of the straight we touched. As soon as you do that with the DRS open, you’re going to lose control, especially on the bumpy surface that you get at the Norisring. At that point, I was just a passenger really. I had two hard impacts with the barrier and then later on with Rocky in the corner – it was just really frightening. It felt like it was never going to stop. It kind of went on forever. The car just kept hitting things hard over and over again. So yes, it was pretty scary. Once it stopped, my heart was racing. I had to sit there for a minute and collect my thoughts. After such an impact, you really don’t know what has happened.
You then got out of the car without any assistance...
Gary Paffett: Yes, the medical team came over and did a quick assessment in the car. They wanted to do the extraction, but I felt OK and didn’t feel any pain in my back or my neck. I wanted to climb out of the car myself. I can only imagine how worrying it must have been for my wife and kids watching. For me, it was important to get out of the car and show everybody I was OK. You never want something like this to happen, but it’s motorsport, and such things do happen. We have to be thankful to the team for building a car that is so incredibly strong and safe. Sometimes you get lucky and win races, and sometimes you get lucky and come out of a crash like that in one piece. That’s the luckiest you can be. Now I have some time to relax on holiday with my family, and then I’m looking forward to getting back in the car in Moscow. I’ll be back fighting as good as ever.