The Lotus F1 Team have confirmed that 2014 GP2 Series champion Jolyon Palmer will be the teams’ official third driver for the 2015 Formula 1 season, replacing Frenchman Charles Pic in the role.
The twenty-four-year-old Briton, who dominated the GP2 season driving for DAMS, will run a number of free practice sessions for the team, and will support full-time drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado from trackside each race weekend.
“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,” said Palmer. “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 [with Williams] 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.”
Chairman and Team Principal of the Lotus F1 Team Gerard Lopez, welcomed Palmer to the team, and believes they have signed a very talented driver to support the teams’ race drivers.
“Jolyon is a fantastic talent and a very credible driver to fulfil the role of Third Driver at Lotus F1 Team,” said Lopez. “Romain and Pastor are both GP2 Series Champions, so we know what a fantastic proving ground GP2 provides. 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.”