It has been announced this morning that Jolyon Palmer has earned himself a Formula 1 test with Force India following his GP2 success while Spike Goddard will also get a chance in Abu Dhabi next week.
23-year-old Palmer became the first Briton since Lewis Hamilton in 2006 to win GP2 Series, winning the title on the back of four victories and with a race to spare. He will be in the cockpit of the VJM07 on the Tuesday while Goddard will take over on the final day at the Yas Marina Circuit.
In an interview with the media today, Palmer is grateful for the chance that Force India have provided with and hopes that this leads to bigger things in his career. Palmer stated the following:-
‘I have worked very hard for a chance like this and I want to help the team get the most from this test session. This is a team that has always promoted talent and I hope this opportunity can lead to bigger things in the future.’
It is clear that Palmer is happy to receive the opportunity to test with Force India next week after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix especially after his performances so far in his career and being crowned GP2 Champion this season. As Palmer points out, Force India have always tested up and coming drivers and the test could provide him with the opportunity not only to gain experience in a F1 car but also to get a Formula One seat.
Meanwhile, Australian driver Goddard competed in the FIA European F3 Championship the past two seasons, having won the rookie class of the British Formula Three Championship in 2012. In his interview with the media today, Goddard is like Palmer extremely grateful for the chance to test in Formula One with Force India next week. Goddard stated the following:-
‘Every young racing driver dreams to be at the wheel of a Formula One car and I am very excited to be one of the very few who gets to fulfil this dream.
‘The test is an important stage in the preparations for 2015 and I hope my contribution will be useful for the team to get a head start for next season.’
As Goddard states in his interview today, every racing driver dreams of racing an Formula One car and is clearly looking forward to next week and showing what he can do in the car in Abu Dhabi. There is no denying that this will help the team acquire data for their 2015 as we go into the winter and I am sure that the data and feedback Goddard will provide will help the team.
When asked his thoughts on allowing Palmer and Goddard to test for the team in Abu Dhabi next week, Force India’s Team Principal Vijay Mallya is happy to give both drivers a chance to show what they can do on the track and wishes them every success. Mallya said the following:-
‘I’m pleased that we can conclude our season by giving two promising youngsters their first taste of Formula One. As a team we have a strong track record of identifying up-and-coming prospects and giving them valuable mileage and experience in our cars.
‘I have been following Jolyon’s progress this season in GP2 and he is clearly a big talent that deserves a chance in Formula One. Spike has also worked hard to get this chance and it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase his skills. I wish Jolyon and Spike all the best for a successful couple of days in Abu Dhabi.’
From what Mallya has stated today, it is clear that he has followed the careers of Palmer and Goddard quite closely and is confident enough to allow both drivers the opportunity to gain experience in a Formula One car. Force India do have a track record of allowing young drivers the opportunity to gain mileage in a Formula One car and their track record is impressive without a shadow of a doubt.
But for me Mallya sums my opinion quite nicely. Both drivers have worked hard during their careers and this season and have shown that they are capable but also worthy of a test run for the Force India team next week. It is clear that Mallya and the Force India team believe they have the talent to impress and also allow them to achieve their objective of getting some data to get a headstart on the 2015 season and also for the car too.
I do just like Mallya wish Palmer and Goddard the best of luck with their test runs next week in Abu Dhabi and look forward to seeing what they can do in a Formula One car.