Lotus F1 Team’s third and reserve driver Jolyon Palmer will get behind the wheel of the Enstone-based squad’s E23 Hybrid for free practice one at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
The 24-year-old will take to the legendary Autodromo Nazionale di Monza for the 90-minute session on Friday, his eighth run in FP1 this year.
His last outing came just two weeks ago at the infamous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, where he completed 23 laps and evaluated a new front wing, providing the team with valuable data. Romain Grosjean went on to finish third in the race - the team’s best result for two years.
Monza has been a favourable hunting ground for Palmer throughout his career with the Southwater racer claiming three victories on the 3.6-mile circuit. He took his first two wins in 2010, as he scored a double victory at the third round of that year’s FIA Formula Two season, on his way to finishing second in the championship.
Palmer produced stunning drives in both of last year’s GP2 races at Monza, storming through the field in the feature race, having been forced to start from the back, to claim an eighth-place finish and pole position for the sprint race. He converted that into a memorable victory to extend his championship lead in what proved a key moment on his way to clinching the 2014 GP2 title in record-breaking fashion.
He said: “Monza is one of my favourite tracks having won there in both F2 and GP2. It’s really low downforce with long straights and huge top speeds of around 370km/h, so I’m looking forward to driving it in an F1 car for the first time!
“It was fantastic for the team to get a podium in Spa and we are all hopeful of another strong performance this weekend, where the circuit should suit us again.”