Lotus F1 Team third and reserve driver Jolyon Palmer put in another impressive Free Practice performance this morning in Austria.
The Southwater driver finish the 90-minute session in 14th position, just 0.046s behind his team-mate Pastor Maldonado.
The 24-year-old completed 27 laps and worked through a large amount of development and set-up work for the Enstone-based outfit, with Alan Permane, trackside operations director for Lotus F1 Team, declaring - Jolyon did a great job.
He continued: “As we’ve come to expect, Jolyon did a great job in today’s session. Starting with a lightly damp track on dry tyres, Jolyon completed the programme as required, clocking-up 27 laps and accumulating valuable data for the weekend ahead.
“The Austrian circuit looks deceptively simple, but it is actually quite a technical track to master so it was great to see Jolyon straight up to speed here.”
After posting an early lap-time of 1m17.160s, Palmer quickly improved on consecutive tours to lap the circuit in 1m12.687s, which put him eighth overall and within one-tenth of Maldonado.
Returning to the track with 35 minutes remaining on the clock, on soft tyres the Southwater ace improved his earlier times, with a 1m12.050s moving him into eighth position.
A third and final run was undertaken by Jolyon but he came into the pits shortly after, without improving his time, to end the session in 14th position.
In a remarkably tight 90 minutes, just 1.5s covered the entire top-15 and was just over a tenth of a second off breaking into the top-10.
Palmer said: “It was a good session. There were no real dramas but I had to stop slightly early as I had a flat spot on the front tyres, which was a shame. Overall I am happy with Free Practice One and now I will let Romain take over for the rest of the weekend.”
The session was led by the two dominant Mercedes cars of Nico Rosberg and championship leader Lewis Hamilton. Former World Champion Kimi Raikkonen was third in his Ferrari with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Nasr rounding out the top-five.
Palmer’s duties for the weekend continue as he is set to provide analysis of Free Practice Two this afternoon for Sky Sports F1 alongside regular commentator David Croft.
He will also commentate on Sky’s coverage of the GP2 Series throughout the weekend along with his regular Lotus F1 Team commitments.