Veteran McLaren F1 test driver Gary Paffett to leave team

Gary Paffett is seen in the garage during the 2012 British Grand Prix.

Gary Paffett is to leave McLaren at the end of this season after being a test and reserve driver for the team since 2006.

Paffett, who continues to drive for Mercedes in DTM, leaves just as Honda replaces the Stuttgart manufacturer. His departure potentially opens up more opportunities for Stoffel Vandoorne.

“I’ve loved working for McLaren and hope my feedback and input over the years has been beneficial,” said Paffett. “The engineers I’ve worked with have been kind enough to say that it has. I have many friends at McLaren, and I wish all of them the very best of luck for the future. Fingers crossed for a McLaren Grand Prix win or two next year!"

McLaren acting CEO Jonathan Neale said: "Gary has been an excellent member of the McLaren team for the best part of a decade, and his technical input, on test track and in simulator alike, has been hugely important to us. Just as important, he’s a great guy. We wish him well."