Jolyon Palmer to make free practice debut in China


2014 GP2 Series champion Jolyon Palmer will participate in his first free practice session for his new Lotus F1 Team employers in China next month.

The Briton will appear in a ‘significant number’ of practice sessions in 2015 as part of his deal with the team, and will make his first appearance in a Formula 1 car during a race weekend at Shanghai.

Palmer has been spending time at the team’s Enstone factory to familiarise himself with the simulator, and has travelled to both Australia and Malaysia with the team to back up regular drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.

“I am really pleased that I will be back in the car for practice in China,” said Palmer, who tested the E23 Hybrid for one day at the Circuit de Catalunya during pre-season testing.

“It will be my first Formula One session on a Grand Prix weekend and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve never raced on the Shanghai circuit before so there is plenty of homework to do but I will make sure that I’m fully prepared for it.

“The focus is now on Malaysia and helping the team achieve a good result in the Grand Prix on Sunday.”

Lotus F1 Team CEO Matthew Carter is looking forward to seeing Palmer competing in free practice in China, and knows from the Briton’s test day in Spain that Palmer provides excellent feedback as well as showing good pace.

“We are looking forward to having Jolyon in the E23 Hybrid for the first practice session in China,” said Carter. “He did a great job at the pre-season test in Barcelona, offering good technical feedback and showing strong pace throughout the day.

“Driving in FP1 in Shanghai will help both his progress as a driver and the team’s development programme with the car and we are sure he will put in an impressive performance.”