Palmer, Goddard handed test drives


Jolyon Palmer has earned himself a Formula 1 test with Force India following his GP2 success while Spike Goddard will also get a chance in Abu Dhabi next week.

The 23-year-old Palmer became the first Briton since Lewis Hamilton in 2006 to win GP2 Series, winning the title on the back of four victories and with a race to spare.

He will be in the cockpit of the VJM07 on the Tuesday while Goddard will take over on the final day at the Yas Marina Circuit.

“I’m pleased that we can conclude our season by giving two promising youngsters their first taste of Formula One,” Force India team principal Vijay Mallya said.

“As a team we have a strong track record of identifying up-and-coming prospects and giving them valuable mileage and experience in our cars.

“I have been following Jolyon’s progress this season in GP2 and he is clearly a big talent that deserves a chance in Formula One.

“Spike has also worked hard to get this chance and it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase his skills. I wish Jolyon and Spike all the best for a successful couple of days in Abu Dhabi.”

Palmer said: “I have worked very hard for a chance like this and I want to help the team get the most from this test session. This is a team that has always promoted talent and I hope this opportunity can lead to bigger things in the future.”

Australian Goddard competed in the FIA European F3 Championship the past two seasons, having won the rookie class of the British Formula Three Championship in 2012.

“Every young racing driver dreams to be at the wheel of a Formula One car and I am very excited to be one of the very few who gets to fulfil this dream,” the 22-year-old said.

“The test is an important stage in the preparations for 2015 and I hope my contribution will be useful for the team to get a head start for next season.”