Southwater’s Jolyon Palmer has been handed a shot at accomplishing his Formula One dream with a test seat for Sahara Force India.
The newly-crowed GP2 champion will get the chance to show his worth in Abu Dhabi next week in his debut F1 run with the ultimate prize on offer; a seat with the team in the pinnacle of motorsport next season.
Palmer wrapped up the GP2 title with three races to spare last month to become the first British driver since Lewis Hamilton in 2006 to win the F1 feeder series and has been hotly-tipped to step up next season.
The 23-year-old now has the chance to impress the Force India team, who are testing to find a partner for Nico Hulkenberg in 2015.
Team principal Vijay Mallya has admitted he has been impressed by Palmer’s title winning campaign, but they are also looking at 22-year-old Australian Spike Goddard, who will also test next week.
Palmer is the son of former Formula One driver Jonathan, and will be looking to impress the team when he spends a full day in the Mercedes-powered VJM07 next Tuesday.
He said: “Sahara Force India has shown their faith in me by offering this opportunity and I am looking forward to repaying their trust in Abu Dhabi.
“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.”
Palmer has caught the eye this season in a record-breaking year with four race wins and seven podiums in a dominant title success.
He set the benchmark for most consecutive points finishes in a season (19) and the most points scored in a single season (256).
Force India principle and managing director Mallya said: “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.”
Palmer concludes his GP2 career this weekend at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit where his DAMS team are looking to secure the Team’s Championship.
They need just 27 points in Adu Dhabi from the 78 available over the weekend.
Palmer added: “I’d like to end my GP2 career with a win and end what has been an unbelievable year in the best possible way.”