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Jolyon Palmer completes successful test in Austria

Wednesday, June 24 2015

Jolyon Palmer enjoyed a strong day of running at the official in-season Formula One test held at the Red Bull Ring in Austria today (Wednesday) to finish sixth-fastest. The 24-year-old posted a quickest time of 1m10.373s and racked up 110 laps, as he completed the second and final day of the test for Lotus F1 Team in fine form.

Taking over from team-mate Romain Grosjean at the wheel of the E23 Hybrid, Jolyon worked through a packed schedule of set-up and aerodynamic development work. He completed 10 laps of the Spielberg track in the first hour of running on the day, before emerging for his second run and vaulting up the timesheets. He posted a lap time of 1m11.487s to move into third place, just behind the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and recent Austrian Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg.

Jolyon improved his best time in the final hour of the morning to record a lap time of 1m11.288s, which put him in sixth-position come the end of the session as others improved, just over one second adrift of the fastest lap set by Finnish driver Bottas.

Following the lunch break, Jolyon did not emerge from the Lotus F1 Team garage until 90 minutes into the afternoon session. After an initial installation lap, the Third and Reserve Driver completed a longer 15-lap stint, with times consistently in the 1m12s bracket. Focusing on development work with subsequent longer runs, he was not afforded the opportunity to improve his quickest time but carried out the team's work schedule diligently.

With the Red Bull machine of Daniel Ricciardo coming to a halt at the exit of the pitlane, the red flag came out to halt the session with just under an hour remaining. Every other driver returned to the track once the Australian's car had been recovered and Jolyon posted his quickest time of the day to move into sixth, before improving once again to lap the Red Bull Ring in 1m10.373s, only four tenths of a second shy of the Ferrari of Esteban Gutierrez in second place.

As the chequered flag flew, the Mercedes of Rosberg topped the timesheets with a best lap of 1m09.113s ahead of the Ferrari of Esteban Guttierez and the Williams of Bottas. Marco Wittmann (Toro Rosso) and Pascal Wehrlein (Force India) were fourth and fifth respectively with Fernando Alonso (McLaren), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) and Felipe Nasr (Sauber) behind Jolyon in seventh, eighth and ninth.

The test was Jolyon's second outing on the Spielberg track for Lotus F1 Team after participating in the Free Practice One session on the Grand Prix weekend last Friday (19 June). He ended the 90-minute session in 14th place just 0.046s shy of his team-mate Pastor Maldonado and only a tenth of a second off breaking into the top-10. Jolyon will return to the cockpit of the E23 Hybrid for Free Practice One at the British Grand Prix (Friday 3 July), his home race.

Jolyon said: "It was a good day for me and we completed all of our programme. It's always productive to get a good tally of laps on the board so anything over one hundred is a real bonus. It's a bit sad as that's my final day of testing in the car, but I've got a good schedule of FP1 sessions ahead of me, starting with my home Grand Prix at Silverstone next week."

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director for Lotus F1 Team added: "In contrast to yesterday, today was straightforward in terms of weather and run programme. In the morning we looked at mechanical set-up work, focussing on more time consuming changes than we'd evaluate over a Grand Prix weekend, then in the afternoon we also looked at further aerodynamic assessments. The E23 ran reliably and Jolyon did a great job as expected. We've been able to collate useful data for improving the pace of the E23 which means job done. We now head back to Enstone to prepare for our home Grand Prix at Silverstone."

Austria in-season F1 test, overall times:

1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m09.113s
2. Esteban Gutierrez, Ferrari, 1m09.931s
3. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1m10.029s
4. Marco Wittmann, Toro Rosso, 1m10.103s
5. Pascal Wehrlein, Force India, 1m10.253s
6. Jolyon Palmer, Lotus F1 Team, 1m10.373s
7. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1m10.718s
8. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1m10.757s
9. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1m10.922s