Paffett enjoys first F1 run since 2013
20 April 2017 – Gary Paffett has declared himself "very happy" after he conducted his first Formula 1 running since mid-2013 during this week's in-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Paffett, who joined Williams as a simulator driver in 2016, piloted the FW40 on Wednesday, racking up 126 laps (more than two race distances), and posting the eighth quickest time.
Paffett previously spent over a decade at McLaren, testing on track and in the simulator, with his final F1 run coming at the mid-season Silverstone test in 2013, prior to his departure.
"It's been a while since I've done a full test in a Formula 1 car!" Paffett said.
"The cars this year with the increased downforce, and more grip in the tyres, are really nice to drive.
"We had a really good day. We did a lot of laps and we got all of our testing done. That's the purpose really, to get all the testing done, and then for me to go back and validate the simulator.
"Overall it was really nice to drive the car and I'm very happy with how the day went."
Williams described a "very productive day" with Paffett at the wheel.
"The morning was mostly spent undertaking aero investigations, and in the afternoon we covered some chassis and tyre work," said Rod Nelson, Williams' Chief Test & Support Engineer.
"It's really interesting to get another driver's point of view and look at the differences in driving style from someone so experienced – it was really useful feedback for us moving forward."