Mercedes DTM driver Gary Paffett says he is in discussions with the German manufacturer about the possibility of sealing a season five Formula E drive with its HWA affiliate.
It was announced in July last year that Mercedes would end its long-term involvement in the DTM at the end of the 2018 season ahead of its entry as a full works outfit into FE for 2019/20.
HWA will join the FE grid as a powertrain customer of the Monaco-based Venturi squad, which gives Mercedes a full season of feedback ahead of running its own Gen2 car in season six.
“Mercedes leaving the DTM was a shock to all of us and is obviously going to have a big impact on a lot of people,” Paffett, who drove for Venturi at the season four rookie test, told Motorsport.com.
“I’m now in my 15th year [in the DTM], quite comfortable just thinking ‘We’ll do the same next year’.
“It is a shame [that Mercedes is withdrawing], but it’s pushed us into looking at other ventures and other things.
“I am obviously talking to Mercedes and HWA about the possibility of doing Formula E, and if I did that it would be really exciting to go and do something different.
“Nothing’s concrete yet, but although it’s disappointing Mercedes is leaving the series, it’s exciting in the fact that I’ll be doing something else.”
Paffett currently leads the 2018 DTM drivers’ standings with 148 points, and has claimed six podium finishes and three wins from the 10 races contested so far this season.
Mercedes, which is seeking a 10th current-era DTM manufacturers’ title and a first since the 2010 season, is also leading that championship – by 189 points over BMW, with Audi 193 further back in third.
Additional reporting by Jake Nichol