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GP Week : Issue 231
.com weeK Lotus has stunned the F1 paddock by announcing Jolyon Palmer will race for the team alongside Pastor Maldonado for 2016. Palmer has acted as test driver for the team, competing in a number of first practice sessions throughout this season in place of Romain Grosjean. The 24-year-old also won the 2014 GP2 championship, becoming the first British driver to do so since Lewis Hamilton in 2006. “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.” “I’m obviously delighted that I’ll be racing in Formula 1 next year,” said Palmer, son of former F1 driver Jonathan. “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 for ward to putting this into practice as a race driver in 2016.” Palmer’s announcement comes as a shock with most predicting Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne to fill the seat vacated by Romain Grosjean. Vergne was believed to be an ideal fit, both for his experience but also because he would be more commercially aligned with Renault, which continues to weigh up whether or not it will buy the team. Palmer’s confirmation leaves just Manor and Haas to confirm its drivers. Neither Red Bull team has confirmed its pairings – however no changes are expected at either squad. Accessible via the GPWeeK APP CLICK on the appropriate provider (right) MANAGING EDITOR Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR Mat Coch CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Formula 1: Mike Doodson Paolo Filisetti (F1 Tech Editor) Sean Kelly Social Media: Ernie Black PhOTOGRAPhy Sutton Motorsport Images www.sutton-images.com Keith Sutton email@example.com: Mark Sutton, Daniel Kalisz, Mirko Stange, Dirk Klynsmith PUBlIShED By Grand Prix Week Ltd 61 Watling Street, Towcester Northants NN12 6AG United Kingdom PUBlIShER Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING Richard Partridge email@example.com Ph: + 44 1273 232 566 Mob: + 44 7771 567 644 Mark Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org se Asia, Australasia GPWEEK (Australia) email@example.com 9 GPWEEK.com // 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> news LOTUS SURPRISE WITH PALMER FOR 2016