DTM championship points leader Gary Paffett is in talks with Mercedes and car builders HWA over a possible drive in the Formula E series.
Paffett, who drives for the works Mercedes team (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Petronas) in DTM, currently tops the touring car series with 148 points.
Yet even if he wins the championship, he will not be driving for Mercedes in the DTM next year, as the German manufacturer has opted to pull out of the touring car series and focus instead on an entry into Formula E in 2019.
HWA, who build Mercedes’ DTM cars, will enter FE in the 2018/19 season as a powertrain customer of the Monaco-based Venturi squad. This will give Mercedes a full season of feedback ahead of running its own Gen2 car in the 2019/20 campaign.
“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 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.”