Quick Chat: Gary Paffett
There was some off-track controversy between drivers at the first two race weekends in Hockenheim and Spielberg. Has something changed this season?
Gary Paffett: "The first two race weekends of the season are always pretty intense, and there's a lot of contact and things going on. This year, drivers are maybe a little more vocal about it in the public domain. I personally have nothing against young drivers or rookies. I was generally surprised by the level of the driving and also disappointed. But I think it's only fair to our fans and the public to let them know what's going on, what we're feeling. Motor sport has changed, and fans have a lot more contact with the drivers. So, we should do our bit and share our emotions with them. It's not as if we're hiding away from each other and talking behind each other's backs. For example, I spoke face to face with Timo directly after the race in Spielberg. I think we were communicating our feelings more openly."
Let's talk about the Lausitzring. You have already taken three wins there in the DTM. Is there something at this track that particularly suits you, and can you clinch another win this weekend?
Gary Paffett: "I hope we can. We had a great car at Hockenheim and it felt very good at Spielberg too in the race. Unfortunately, we just didn't have the qualifying pace there. I'm now looking forward to competing at the front again at the Lausitzring. I'm looking too for my first podium of the season at least. The circuit itself is quite unique. It's the only circuit on the calendar on which we race on an oval section. The track has a lot of grip and that builds up over the weekend. I don't do anything differently when I go there, but I've certainly adjusted my driving style over the years to suit the track."
Away from the track, you have recently taken on the role of coach to the youth team at your local tennis club. How did that come about?
Gary Paffett: "My kids love sport as much as I do. I helped the team out in some competitions, and the head coach asked me if I'd liked to manage the team. I said yes, since I'm at most of the matches anyway with my kids. It gives me the chance to organise the team and pick the players. It's really good fun to help out with the kids and see how they develop."