Lotus has confirmed that reserve driver Jolyon Palmer will be promoted to a race seat in 2016.
The Englishman will partner Pastor Maldonado, who was confirmed last month. He follows in the footsteps of father Jonathan, who started 83 Grands Prix between 1983 and 1989.
Palmer won the GP2 title in 2014 and has been a regular in FP1 sessions this season.
“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,” said team boss Gerard Lopez. “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.”
“Lotus F1 Team gave me a tremendous opportunity this season,” said Palmer. “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 forward to putting this into practice as a race driver in 2016. I can’t wait for next season to get underway!”
5 responses to “Palmer confirmed for Lotus seat in 2016”
Good for JP, but this kind of hints of a short term arrangement. Could it be they expect a top driver to return in a year or so, possibly after burning boats at McLaren?
Is the team he’s signed to even going to be around next season….in any form, under any name?
I don’t think Renault is going to take up the option on this team after all & will be leaving at the end of 2015, so who the drivers are might be irrelevant.
Someone paid off the Lotus debt so a purchase (or ownership transfer) is more probable. No one ponies up that amount of cash without an end game within sight.
No one commits to a billion dollar budget with a losing engine, prospect of big rule changes a year down the line and negative marketing potential in the hundreds of millions.
The team assets are worth more than what Renault would have committed so far.