Palmer follows his father into F1 with Lotus

Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:12pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Britain's Jolyon Palmer will follow in his father Jonathan's footsteps and race in Formula One next season after signing a deal with the Lotus team.

The team said in a statement at the U.S. Grand Prix on Friday that the 24-year-old, who won the GP2 support series last year, would join Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado in their 2016 lineup.

"We’ve seen Jolyon’s hard work and talent this season in the way he’s approached his third driver role and he is a really popular choice for the team," said chairman Gerard Lopez.

No details about the length of the contract were given by either party.

Palmer has been Lotus reserve this season, taking part in practice sessions. He replaces Frenchman Romain Grosjean who is joining the U.S.-based and Ferrari-powered Haas F1 team who are due to debut next year.

The timing of the announcement came as a surprise, with the financially-struggling team in the throes of being taken over by Renault, who previously owned them before becoming only an engine supplier.

Palmer and team officials said Renault had been involved in the decision.

Jonathan Palmer started 83 races for Williams, RAM, Zakspeed and Tyrrell between 1983 and 1989 with a highest placing of fourth in Australia in 1987.   Continued...