Jolyon Palmer gets 2016 Lotus Formula 1 race seat

Jolyon Palmer has been confirmed as Lotus's second driver for the 2016 Formula 1 season, replacing Romain Grosjean alongside Pastor Maldonado

Jolyon Palmer gets 2016 Lotus Formula 1 race seat

After serving as Lotus's reserve driver for this year, 2014 GP2 champion Palmer takes the seat left vacant by Grosjean's move to F1 newcomer Haas.

IAN PARKES: Has Grosjean committed career suicide?

Lotus is poised to become the Renault works team for next year once the French manufacturer's acquisition of a majority shareholding is completed.

Palmer, who has driven in the majority of the first practice sessions this season, said: "I'm obviously delighted I'll be racing in Formula 1 next year.

"Lotus F1 Team gave me a tremendous opportunity this season and I thank them for assisting my development to a level where they have put their trust in me for a crucial season in their evolution.

"I've enjoyed and learnt a lot from my year as third and reserve driver so I'm looking forward to putting this into practice as a race driver in 2016.

"I can't wait for next season to get under way."

Palmer follows father Jonathan into a F1 race seat, with the latter making 83 starts from 1983-89 for teams including Williams and Tyrrell.

The 24-year-old's appointment means there will be at least three British drivers on the 2016 F1 grid, as he joins Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and McLaren's Jenson Button.

Lotus chairman and team principal Gerard Lopez said: "We've seen Jolyon's hard work and talent this season in the way he's approached his third driver role and he is a really popular choice for the team.

"As well as having a great future ahead of him behind the wheel, Jolyon is an intelligent and highly marketable asset to the team.

"He deserves this opportunity, and everyone at Enstone is excited to see what he can achieve next year."

CONFIRMED 2016 F1 LINE-UP SO FAR:

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg
Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen
Williams-Mercedes: Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa
Force India-Mercedes: Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg
Lotus/Renault: Pastor Maldonado, Jolyon Palmer
Sauber-Ferrari: Felipe Nasr, Marcus Ericsson
McLaren-Honda: Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button
Manor-Mercedes: tba
Haas-Ferrari: Romain Grosjean, tba
Red Bull/Toro Rosso futures subject to engine supply deals

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