Palmer handed Lotus FP1 drive in China

© XPB 

Jolyon Palmer will make his grand prix weekend debut with Lotus in two weeks’ time, with the reigning GP2 Series champion set to drive during the opening free practice session at the Chinese Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old was signed as the Enstone-based team’s reserve driver over the winter and has already sampled the new E23 Hybrid at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in pre-season testing.

When Lotus officially announced Palmer as part of its 2015 roster, the outfit’s statement read that the Briton would take part in “a significant number of Free Practice 1 sessions”.

"I am really pleased that I will be back in the car for practice in China,” said Palmer. “It will be my first Formula One session on a Grand Prix weekend and I'm really looking forward to it.

“I've never raced on the Shanghai circuit before so there is plenty of homework to do but I will make sure that I'm fully prepared for it. The focus is now on Malaysia and helping the team achieve a good result in the Grand Prix on Sunday."

Commenting on the news, Lotus F1 Team CEO Matthew Carter declared: "Jolyon did a great job at the test in Barcelona, offering good feedback and showing strong pace throughout the day.

"Driving in FP1 in Shanghai will help both his progress as a driver and the team's development programme with the car and we are sure he will put in an impressive performance."

Click here for Friday's gallery from the Malaysian Grand Prix

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