GP3 champion Alex Lynn joins Williams F1 team as development driver

GP3 champion Alex Lynn has joined the Williams Formula 1 team as a development driver for 2015

The role will involve extensive simulator work and a day of on-track testing following the Spanish Grand Prix.

Lynn will dovetail Williams duties with his already-announced deal to race for champion team DAMS in GP2.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams said the intention was to develop Lynn for the future through his new role.

"Williams has a strong track record in bringing young talent though the ranks and our development driver position is designed to fully immerse new recruits into the inner workings of a Formula 1 team," she said.

"As a British team we are always on the lookout for emerging homegrown talent and Alex has caught our eye with his impressive performances in GP3. He has been chosen on merit."

Lynn hopes he can emulate current Williams race driver Valtteri Bottas in turning the development position into a bigger opportunity.

"I hope that with a strong year in GP2, while also helping to develop the F1 car throughout this season, I can follow in the footsteps of Valtteri Bottas who joined the Williams team in exactly the same development driver role," he said.

"Through hard work and determination, he has gone from winning the GP3 title to earning his place as a Williams F1 race driver.

"Working with people like Sir Frank Williams and Pat Symonds is an incredible opportunity for me.

"There is so much experience here at Williams and I hope to be able to use the knowledge gained from these people to further develop my skills as a racing driver and respected member of this team."

The 21-year-old Briton made his F1 testing debut with Lotus in last winter's Abu Dhabi sessions.

Last season he added the GP3 title to a CV that already included victory in the 2013 Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix and the '11 Formula Renault UK title.

Lynn was part of Red Bull's junior line-up in 2014, but AUTOSPORT understands that he reached an amicable agreement to leave the scheme over the winter.

Williams has already announced that Susie Wolff will step up from 'development driver' to 'official test driver' status this year, in a deal that includes some grand prix practice appearances.

But under the superlicence regulations due to come into force in 2016, Wolff would not be eligible to step into a race seat, whereas Lynn would be qualified.

The team's 2014 reserve Felipe Nasr has secured a race deal at Sauber.

Bottas and Felipe Massa stay on as Williams's race drivers for 2015.

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