British GP3 Champion Alex Lynn handed development driver role at Williams
Lynn to make track debut for team at Barcelona test in May
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 28/01/15 10:31am
Reigning GP3 Champion Alex Lynn has joined Williams as the Grove team’s new development driver for 2015.
The 21-year-old Briton revealed earlier this month that he was on the verge of signing with an F1 team for the new season, a role he intended to dovetail with the GP2 race seat he had already secured with DAMS.
It was revealed on Wednesday that Lynn had been hired by Williams to assume the role of development driver, a position previously filled by Susie Wolff before her promotion to official test driver for 2015.
Lynn, who made his F1 debut with Lotus at last November’s Abu Dhabi test, will primarily focus on simulator work with Williams but will get a chance to drive their new FW37 car at May's post-Spanish GP test.
The Briton is now hoping to emulate one of his GP3 champion predecessors, Valtteri Bottas, by eventually graduating from development to race driver at Grove.
“I am extremely excited to be joining Williams, a team with such incredible history and amazing potential. Over the past year the team has made huge strides forward and it’s clear to see their determination to fight for more success in the future," Lynn said.
"I hope that with a strong year in GP2, while also helping to develop the F1 car throughout this season, I can follow in the footsteps of Valtteri Bottas who joined the Williams team in exactly the same development driver role. Through hard work and determination, he has gone from winning the GP3 title to earning his place as a Williams F1 race driver.
"Working with people like Sir Frank Williams and Pat Symonds is an incredible opportunity for me. There is so much experience here at Williams and I hope to be able to use the knowledge gained from these people to further develop my skills as a racing driver and respected member of this team. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming from the outset, we have hit the ground running and I am very excited about the challenges this role offers – particularly my on track activities driving the FW37 in a few months time.”
Deputy team principal Claire Williams said it was important to the famous oufit that they backed young British driving talent.
“Williams has a strong track record in bringing young talent though the ranks and our Development Driver position is designed to fully immerse new recruits into the inner workings of a Formula 1 team," she said.
"As a British team we are always on the lookout for emerging home-grown talent and Alex has caught our eye with his impressive performances in GP3. He has been chosen on merit and we are confident that alongside Felipe, Valtteri and Susie, Alex will help play an important role in making sure that the FW37 shows continuous improvement over the course of the 2015 season."
Lynn joins his countryman and GP2 champion counterpart Jolyon Palmer in securing an F1 test role for 2015, Palmer having signed as Lotus's reserve driver.
The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary of all three winter tests, starting in Jerez on February 1, with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News HQ.