Great Britain’s Jolyon Palmer arrives on the 2016 grid eager to impress, after a year spent as the Lotus team’s test and reserve driver, during which he racked up 13 Friday practice appearances for the Enstone squad.
One could argue Palmer was always destined for a career in motorsport, with his father Jonathan a veteran of 82 F1 starts in the 1980s - with teams including Williams and Tyrrell - and an owner of several UK race circuits.
Born in Horsham in 1991, Jolyon started out in karts, but was already racing cars at the age of 14 in the T Car championship - a saloon car series for drivers aged 14 to 17. His first full year of competition in 2006 saw him scoring four podiums en route to fifth in the table, as well as dominating the T Car Autumn Trophy with four wins from six races.
He graduated to single-seaters for 2007 and the series originally created by his father, Formula Palmer Audi. After a slow start he went on to finish tenth overall, with victories at Brands Hatch and Oulton Park, but missed the final two rounds thanks to a quad bike injury.
Recovered for 2008, Palmer was a title challenger for much of the season, eventually clinching third in the standings with the highlight his victory in the series’ overseas round at Spa-Franchorchamps in Belgium.