Will Palmer has signed with MP Motorsport for the 2018 GP3 season, after testing with the team last month.
Palmer, whose father Jonathan and brother Jolyon have both competed in Formula 1, finished as runner-up in the 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup with the R-ace GP, and tested with Arden in the post-season GP3 test.
He was a late addition to the MP Motorsport stable for the final pre-season test in Barcelona and has now completed a deal with the squad, after impressing team boss Sander Dorsman.
Palmer put the choice to compete in GP3 – over European Formula 3 – down to getting experience of being on the F1 support package and gaining valuable experience of using Pirelli tyres. He’ll join Dorian Boccolacci and Niko Kari in the Dutch squad.
“MP are new to the series this year,” said Palmer, who won the BRDC British F4 championship in 2015 before heading to Formula Renault.
“They had a strong test in the Abu Dhabi [post-season] test last year and they have two strong drivers in Dorian Boccolacci and Niko Kari, who are both surely going to be right at the front this year. Having them there to learn off is big.
“We had the test at Barcelona and I got on really well with the team and the engineering was really strong. It’s a good atmosphere and I’m looking forward to starting the season.”
Palmer said it is unlikely he will fight for the title in his first year, but is hoping to be contending for podiums by the end of the year.
“I’d like to be in the top eight, challenging for podiums and getting strong results,” he added.
“Improving is the key thing for me, having missed the first two tests I’m coming into it a little bit down on seat time, but hopefully we can catch that up quickly and we can be fighting up at the sharp end.
“For now I have to focus on GP3 and to do my job here. But if I do well in GP3 the natural progression is F2. I’d love to race in that [F2] one day but the focus has to be on GP3.”
2018 GP3 line-up so far:
|ART Grand Prix||
Juan Manuel Correa