Lotus F1 Team have confirmed this evening that Jolyon Palmer will drive for them in the 2016 Formula One world championship. The British driver will partner Pastor Maldonado and will take the place of Romain Grosjean; who leaves the team to join newcomers Haas.
Jolyon, who has driven for the team on numerous occasions this year in practice sessions, was arguably the most likely candidate to take the seat after Grosjean announced that he was leaving the team. Palmer has experience with the team and the car and also has previous success to his name having previously won the 2014 GP2 championship.
“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“, said Team Principal Gerard Lopez, “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 won the 2014 GP2 championship and was then unlucky enough to join the list of reigning GP2 champions who were left without an F1 seat; such as the previous 2 champions Fabio Leimer and Davide Valsecchi. He followed in Valsecchi’s footsteps by joining Lotus as a third driver, but this time an F1 race seat materialized for him.
“It feels pretty unbelievable! It’s been such a long journey and I’m so glad to have been confirmed as a race driver with the team next year”, Palmer said, “a lot of hard work has gone into preparing for this to happen and into proving what I’m capable of delivering”.
“I’m very grateful to everyone who has so far helped me at the team; I’m now looking forward to 2016 and to build on the experience that I already have”.