Jolyon Palmer announced as Lotus F1 Team Third Driver for 2015

Reigning GP2 Series Champion Jolyon Palmer today joined Lotus F1 Team as Third Driver for the 2015 season.

Jolyon will attend all Grands Prix and Formula 1 tests throughout 2015 for Lotus F1 Team, including driving in a significant number of Free Practice 1 sessions, as well as contributing to the car's testing and development during the season. Jolyon will also fulfil the role of Reserve Driver.

Jolyon is the first British driver to win the GP2 Series since two-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton. He won the 2014 GP2 title in record-breaking fashion, with the greatest amount of points scored in a season (276) and the most consecutive points finishes (19). Lotus F1 Team's two race drivers, Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, are both also former GP2 Champions.

Gerard Lopez, Chairman and Team Principal, Lotus F1 Team:
"Jolyon is a fantastic talent and a very credible driver to fulfil the role of Third Driver at Lotus F1 Team. 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."

Interview with Jolyon Palmer (by Lotus F1 Press Office)
Having just been announced as the Lotus F1 Team Third Driver for the 2015 season, reigning GP2 Series Champion Jolyon Palmer gives a little insight into his excitement at joining the team.

Jolyon Palmer, Lotus F1 Team Third Driver. How does that sound? 
It sounds great! It’s the dream to be with a Formula 1 team and now I can say I am a Formula 1 driver. I tested with a Force India last year which was already a dream but now to have a full role with a team, a prestigious team as well like Lotus F1 Team, is an amazing opportunity.

You’ve seen Enstone now, what do you think of the facility? 
It’s really impressive, it was bigger than I expected but you can see when you’re here that this is a team that has won championships. You can tell the professionalism and the motivation just when you walk around. You know that some fantastic drivers have been part of the make-up here. It’s a really good feeling to now be part of this.

This year you’ll attend all races and test as Third Driver and Reserve Driver with time in the E23 Hybrid as well as in the simulator. How are you approaching the season ahead? 
My main aim is to race in Formula 1 so I’ll be working as hard as I can on every aspect of my new job! Working as a Third Driver is the next best thing to being a race driver. I’ll be working with the engineers throughout the season whether I’m in the car or not. There is a lot to learn and I’ll be working to make a valuable contribution to the E23’s development. Every time I’m in the car, I’ll try to give my very best. It’s not just being quick, but also working with the engineers and the team as well.

Looking at your racing CV, you’ve been racing every year for so long. This year you’ll get to drive the best racing car in the world – a Formula 1 car – but you won’t actually be racing. How do you make peace with that?
It’s certainly a change and something different! Understandably, I’m a bit sad that I won’t be competing as racing is my favourite part of being a driver, obviously, but I have to look at the bigger picture. With no race seats available this year, I will still be driving a Formula 1 car, I’ll be part of a prestigious team, one that will move forward, and my goal is to have a year out of racing now, working to be back racing in Formula 1, in 2016.