The iSport International team have announced that they have signed 20-year-old British driver Jolyon Palmer to race for them in 2012.
'I'm delighted to be joining iSport for my second GP2 season," said Palmer as the news was confirmed. "I can't wait to get started!"
Palmer drove for the Arden International team in 2011 in both the GP2 and GP2 Asia Series, before switching to Barwa Addax for the GP2 Final which saw him finish with a season-best result of third place in the feature race. Palmer tested for the Barwa Addax and Carlin teams during the post-season sessions at Jerez and Barcelona, and also spent a day testing with iSport.
"I learnt a lot with Arden last year," he said. "iSport are a proven front-running team in GP2 and I have experience running with them in winter testing, so I am sure we will work well together."
The team principle of iSport, Paul Jackson, was delighted with his new signing. "Having tested with Jolyon twice now and watched his progress during 2011 up to his impressive podium in Abu Dhabi, we are delighted that he will be joining iSport for the coming season," he said.
Palmer was keen to set some ambitious objectives for the year, but was confident that they were still realistic ones. "I'm aiming for the top three in the championship," he said.
Jackson agreed: "With his rookie season under his belt, it is the right time for him to be looking for consistent podiums and regular points hauls that will put him in contention for the championship," he said. "Jolyon has shown a good work ethic and an ability to learn and apply the results of testing, so we expect to see the results of that bear fruit early on."
Palmer was also excited to GP2's new look in 2012, with the European and Asian series merging to produce a truly global support series operating alongside F1. "The calendar this year is great and the prospect of racing in Malaysia and Singapore is extremely exciting," he said.
Ultimately Palmer has his eyes set on the top prize of Grand Prix racing in the future, and knows that 2012 will be a vital opportunity to make a name for himself in the F1 paddock that will be watching the 12-round, 24-race GP2 season.
"I must say thanks to my sponsors and also to iSport for showing faith in me," said Palmer. "I know that I need to repay them with results this year if I am going to continue my progress towards my F1 goal."
Palmer will be joined by his new team mate Marcus Ericsson for the official pre-season tests at Jerez on February 28-March 1 and the following week in Barcelona from March 6-8, ahead of the first round of the season in Sepang on March 23-25 as a support race to the F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia.