It’s official!! Lotus F1 Team test and reserve driver Jolyon Palmer will drive alongside Pastor Maldonado replacing Romain Grosjean at the Enstone outfit next season. The highly rated Englishman has been rewarded for his hard work with the team and make his Formula One race debut in Australian next season.
The reigning GP2 champion joined the Lotus F1 Team at the end of last year and over the course of the 2015 Formula One season has driven in place of both Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean in a number of official free practice sessions.
Speaking about the news, Lotus F1 Team Principal and co-owner Gerard Lopez commented by saying:
We are very pleased to announce that exciting British racing talent Jolyon Palmer is promoted to a race seat with the team for next season. 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.
Palmer commented on the news by saying:
I’m obviously delighted that 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 underway!
The news means that there will be at least three British drivers on the Formula One grid next season with Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton the other drivers.