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Jolyon Palmer to drive for Lotus in 2016

Lotus confirm that reserve driver Jolyon Palmer will be promoted to a race seat for the 2016 Formula 1 season.

Lotus have announced that reserve driver Jolyon Palmer will fill the team's vacant race seat for the 2016 Formula 1 season.

Romain Grosjean is leaving the team at the end of the 2015 campaign to join the new Haas F1 outfit, resulting in Lotus promoting the Briton to drive alongside Pastor Maldonado, who is retained for a third season.

The 24-year-old, who was the GP2 champion in 2014, told the team's website: "It feels pretty unbelievable! It's been such a long journey and I'm so glad to have been confirmed as a race driver with the team next year.

"A lot of hard work has gone into preparing for this to happen and into proving what I'm capable of delivering. I'm very grateful to everyone who has so far helped me at the team. I'm now looking forward to 2016 and to build on the experience that I already have.

"I have learnt a huge amount with the team this year. It has opened my eyes to the world of Formula 1. GP2 is high level, the drivers are good and the car is very solid but F1 is another level. The technology involved is immense and so advanced, there is a lot to get your head around. Also, working with so many engineers and the team as a whole is a completely different experience to GP2. I'm now better prepared than ever."

Palmer is the son of former F1 driver Jonathan Palmer, who competed in 88 races between 1983 and 1989.

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Romain Grosjean of France and Lotus drives during day two of Formula One Winter Testing at the Bahrain International Circuit on February 20, 2014
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