With just over 100 days to go to the first race of 2009, Gary Paffett has admitted his links with McLaren-Mercedes could "open the door" to his formula one debut.

With just over 100 days to go to the first race of 2009, Gary Paffett has admitted his links with McLaren-Mercedes could "open the door" to his formula one debut.

The 27-year-old Briton, a McLaren test driver for the past three years who in 2008 raced in the DTM series, admitted his experience would be useful for Force India.

"That in itself is invaluable for a team trying to develop a car and would certainly put the pieces of the puzzle together for the relationship between Force India and McLaren," he told The Sun at a British motor racing awards evening in London.

For 2009 and beyond, Silverstone based Force India will receive technical support from McLaren, and engines from Mercedes, in a deal that has already seen McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa test for the team.

And Paffett said: "I feel I am ready to race in formula one."

He admitted that the McLaren-Force India collaboration has boosted his chances of joining the grand prix action next year.

"There's certainly a door to be opened with McLaren teaming up with Force India technically and with Mercedes engines and gearboxes," said Paffett, although admitting that Honda's withdrawal from the sport was an unexpected shot of news.

"Things seem to be a little bit difficult in general at the moment.

"We'll just have to get through this patch and see what happens. But I am doing everything I can to get myself racing again," he said.

 

Be part of something big