Palmer confirmed as Lotus reserve


GP Series champion Jolyon Palmer has been confirmed as the third driver for Lotus for the 2015 Formula One season.

Palmer became the first British driver to win the GP2 Series since Lewis Hamilton in 2006 last year and is expected to get plenty of opportunity behind the wheel of the 2015 Lotus car, in free practice sessions as well as during testing.

Should the need arise, he will stand in for Romain Grosjean or Pastor Maldonado on race day.

“I’m delighted to be moving into F1 with Lotus F1 Team this year as third driver and I’m very grateful for the opportunity they have given me,” the 24-year-old Palmer said.

“My goal has been to become a race driver in a competitive F1 team for 2016 and Lotus F1 Team is a great opportunity for me, particularly with Mercedes engines now. 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.

“I am delighted to be joining Lotus F1 Team at such an exciting time and my objective is to earn a long term future with them.”

Lotus Chairman and team boss Gerard Lopez was pleased with Palmer’s acquisition.

“Jolyon is a fantastic talent and a very credible driver to fulfil the role of Third Driver at Lotus F1 Team. Romain and Pastor are both GP2 Series Champions, so we know what a fantastic proving ground GP2 provides,” Lopez said.

“For Jolyon to have enjoyed such a successful season as he took his title last year shows his superb potential for the future. We are looking forward to seeing him in team colours and behind the wheel of our 2015 car, the E23 Hybrid, which represents an exciting new era for Lotus F1 Team.”