Jolyon Palmer to get F1 free practice running with Lotus in 2015

Reigning GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer will take part in some Formula 1 free practice sessions this year after signing to become a reserve driver for the Lotus team

Jolyon Palmer to get F1 free practice running with Lotus in 2015

The Enstone-based squad has appointed the Brit - who turned 24 today (Tuesday) - as its third driver for the 2015 F1 season and promised him a "significant number" of practice session outings on grand prix weekends, according to a statement.

Palmer, who last year became the first British driver to win the GP2 crown since Lewis Hamilton, said he hoped to use his opportunity with Lotus as a springboard to a race seat in 2016.

"My goal has been to become a race driver in a competitive F1 team for 2016 and Lotus is a great opportunity for me, particularly with Mercedes engines now," said Palmer, who tested F1 machinery for the first time with Force India at last November's post-season Abu Dhabi test.

"To be able to learn with a major F1 team by working closely with them in every area and getting a lot of mileage in the car is the best way possible, as Valtteri Bottas proved [at Williams].

"I am delighted to be joining Lotus at such an exciting time and my objective is to earn a long term future with them.

"I'm a bit sad that I won't be competing, as racing is my favourite part of being a driver, but I have to look at the bigger picture.

"With no race seats available this year, I will still be driving a Formula 1 car, I'll be part of a prestigious team, one that will move forward."

Team owner Gerard Lopez said Palmer's title-winning pedigree in GP2 would make him the perfect foil for race drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, as Lotus seeks to bounce back from a disastrous 2014 campaign.

"Jolyon is a fantastic talent and a very credible driver to fulfil the role of third driver at Lotus," Lopez said.

"Having worked with Romain, the 2011 GP2 champion, we know what a fantastic proving ground GP2 provides, so for Jolyon to have enjoyed such a successful season as he took his title last year shows his superb potential for the future.

"We hope to give him as much running as we can, as we enter an exciting new era."

shares
comments
New Force India F1 car will not run at first Jerez test

Previous article

New Force India F1 car will not run at first Jerez test

Next article

Obituary: Former grand prix driver Robert Manzon 1917-2015

Obituary: Former grand prix driver Robert Manzon 1917-2015
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jolyon Palmer
Teams Team Lotus , Lotus F1 Team
Author Ben Anderson
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021