Jolyon Palmer says he enjoyed his return to the cockpit during FP1 for the Chinese Grand Prix as he completed his first practice session for Lotus.

The defending GP2 Series champion has joined Lotus in a reserve driver role for the 2015 season, with the Chinese event at the Shanghai International Circuit marking his first outing in FP1 in place of Romain Grosjean.

Save for a spin during the early laps, Palmer enjoyed a positive session in the E23, setting the 15th fastest time, six tenths behind Pastor Maldonado. Indeed, the Englishman was pleased to be getting some track action again as he heads into 2015 without a regular race drive.

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"It was nice for me because it was like driving on a proper race weekend again which I've missed since GP2. Even walking down to be weighed on the FIA scales it was like being a proper race driver again.

"There was always going to be a lot to learn as I hadn't driven the car for two months, and I haven't been here before. I didn't even drive it on the simulator.

"There was a lot to take in, I had to build up from scratch. In the end I got a lot of laps in and I managed to build up a reasonable enough pace, one I was quite happy with given the circumstances."

Palmer also believes he will be back in the car next week during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

"I should be in for Bahrain. We'll see, we're just waiting for it to be confirmed.

"It's perfect for me to come here. This was always going to be a tough one because I didn't know the track and still fairly fresh to the car.

"At least Bahrain is only a week away, so it keeps me in the groove in the car, and it's a track I know. I'm hoping for improvement obviously."