Arden International have announced the signings of Josef Kral and Jolyon Palmer as the team's drivers for the 2011 GP2 Asia and Main Series seasons.
20-year-old Kral, from the Czech Republic, joins Arden after racing for Super Nova in his debut GP2 season in 2010. Although he missed a large chunk of the racing year due to injury, Kral made his Formula 1 testing debut at the Young Driver Test at Abu Dhabi in November for Hispania.
Kral is pleased to have joined Arden, following a successful testing session together at the end of 2010. “I am very happy to be part of Arden GP2 Team and I can´t wait to start working together,” said Kral. “After such a difficult season, when I missed some races because of my back injury I hope that we can make up for it in 2011. After the test in Abu Dhabi where we showed that together we can be right on the top I felt that this is the right decision. I am sure that Arden's experience will be very helpful in the development of the new car and I will do my best to show that their choice was the right one.”
British driver Palmer, also 20, graduates to GP2 after finishing as runner-up in the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship. Palmer tested for leading teams ART, iSport and Addax at the end of the season, but has now joined Arden for his rookie season.
Palmer is hopeful that joining a team of Arden's experience will allow him to enjoy a smooth transition to GP2. “I'm really excited to be joining the Arden GP2 Team for 2011, and I can't wait for the season to start,” explained Palmer. “It's obviously going to be very tough, as indeed it should be, but I feel confident that two seasons of F2 have given me a very good grounding and I'm looking forward to rising to the challenge. Arden have tremendous experience and have had great success in the past and I hope my performances will reward the faith they have showed in selecting me.”
Team Manager Richard Dent commented on the new driver pairing. “We are very excited to secure Josef and Jolyon for both 2011 GP2 Championships,” said Dent. “We have been watching Josef closely for some time and our confidence in him was increased when we tested him at the end of 2010. He showed us his technical feedback and pace, two skills that will help us with this third generation of GP2 car. We didn't test Jolyon at the end of last year but watched with interest and we were impressed with what we saw. Now on Pirelli tyres, it promises to be another exciting season and with Josef and Jolyon on board I am sure Arden will be pushing hard in the Championship.”