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Palmer to make F1 Free Practice debut in China

Friday, March 27 2015

Jolyon Palmer will contest Friday's first practice session at the Chinese Grand Prix next month (10 April), his first appearance in an official Formula One session on a Grand Prix weekend. He will drive the Lotus F1 Team's E23 Hybrid at the Shanghai International circuit in the 90-minute long session.

Palmer will take part in a significant number of Free Practice One sessions throughout the 2015 season as the team's official Third and Reserve driver. The 24-year-old had his first taste of the 2015 challenger at an official pre-season test session in Barcelona where he completed 77 laps of the circuit, posting the eighth quickest time.

The 2014 GP2 Champion has been hard at work at the team's Enstone factory in the lead up to the races refining set-up and gathering data in the Lotus F1 Team simulator. He has also attended the opening Grands Prix in Australia and this weekend's race in Malaysia, working with the drivers and participating in technical briefings.

Jolyon said: "I am really pleased that I will be back in the car for practice in China. 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."

Lotus F1 Team CEO Matthew Carter said: "We are looking forward to having Jolyon in the E23 Hybrid for the first practice session in China. He did a great job at the pre-season test in Barcelona, offering good technical 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."