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Jolyon Palmer lands Lotus/Renault F1 race seat, three Brits on grid in 2016

Jolyon Palmer has been appointed as a race driver by the Lotus F1 team, which is hoping shortly to be sold to Renault.

Jolyon Palmer lands Lotus/Renault F1 race seat, three Brits on grid in 2016

Jolyon Palmer has been appointed as a race driver by the Lotus F1 team, which is hoping shortly to be sold to Renault. The 24 year old has been a Friday practice driver this season and got the nod for next year ahead of several other candidates including Jean Eric Vergne and Kevin Magnussen.

Palmer, whose father Jonathan raced in 82 Grands Prix between 1983 and 1989, was GP2 champion last season and lines up alongside Pastor Maldonado, another former GP2 star. He becomes the third British driver on the current F1 grid along with world champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

Jolyon Palmer

“I’m obviously delighted that I’ll be racing in Formula 1 next year," said Palmer. "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 forward to putting this into practice as a race driver in 2016. I can’t wait for next season to get underway!”

With this appointment, the grid for 2016 is almost complete. There is the second seat at Haas, which is likely to be confirmed ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix with Esteban Gutierrez moving across from his Ferrari test role, with backing from Mexican sponsors Claro and America Movil.

Manor is the other team which has two open seats. Alexander Rossi said Friday in Austin that he is confident of retaining the seat into 2016 and the other seat, occupied currently by Will Stevens, will be the last available. With Manor switching to Mercedes engines next season, the seat is quite desirable. It's likely that the team will be looking for a driver with budget.
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