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Jolyon Palmer makes "great" debut for Lotus F1 Team

Friday, February 20 2015

Jolyon Palmer made a "great" start today to his role as official Third Driver for Lotus F1 Team, in the words of the team, as he completed 77 laps of the Barcelona circuit.

Driving the Lotus E23 Hybrid for the first time, on the second day of the official pre-season Formula One test at the Spanish circuit, Palmer focused on development work. Over the course of the morning and afternoon he ran through a programme of tyre and aero assessments. During the course of this work he recorded an impressive best lap time of 1m26.280s, eighth-fastest of the day and just 0.319s shy of two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso.

In the morning session, the reigning GP2 Champion headed out on to the circuit with the E23 Hybrid carrying complex airflow measuring equipment, to collate aerodynamics data for the team. Completing 31 laps, Palmer produced a best time of 1m28.128s, which put him eighth on the timesheets at the lunch break.

Jolyon improved this time in the afternoon following a switch to the soft compound Pirelli tyres, and he rapidly progressed to post his fastest lap of the day with just under two hours of the day remaining.

Palmer said: "Today went well. We racked up a lot of laps and I got a good feel for the car. It was very slippery first thing with the cold track and it was certainly very difficult with the hard tyres combined with the low temperatures! There was a lot to take on board with the different settings for the car and the different programmes we were running, so it's been a pretty steep learning curve. It's been a very positive start for me and I hope my work has benefitted the team. I loved being in the car and I can't wait to get back out on track."

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director, said: "Today was about data accumulation and Jolyon did a great job in his first time in the car, especially with the particularly cold conditions to start the session here this morning. We've completed a number of aero runs with a variety of different data collection tools on the car as well as conducting a number of different tyre assessments to build a picture of what to expect from Pirelli's latest tyres. The car has run well again and overall we're making good progress this week."

Pastor Maldonado will take over from Jolyon in the Lotus tomorrow before the team's other driver, Romain Grosjean, assumes driving duties for the final day of the test.

Barcelona F1 Test result:

1. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1m24.574s
2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m24.584s
3. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1m24.672s
4. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1m24.702s
5. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m24.923s
6. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m25.556s
7. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1m25.961s
8. Jolyon Palmer, Lotus, 1m26.280s
9. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1m27.344s
10. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1m28.945s