Force India confirms line-up for post-season F1 test

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Force India has confirmed that Jolyon Palmer and Spike Goddard will test for the team at the end-of-season two-day session in Abu Dhabi next week.

This weekend’s race at Yas Marina marks the final round of the 2014 season, but the F1 paddock will stay on for another couple of days in the Middle East for the last test of the year that could provide some important information in their preparation for 2015.

As part of its policy to promote and cultivate young talent, Force India will be running Palmer, the winner of this year’s GP2 championship, and Goddard, an Australian racing in the FIA F3 European Championship in Abu Dhabi next week.

“I’m pleased that we can conclude our season by giving two promising youngsters their first taste of Formula 1,” team owner Vijay Mallya said. “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 1. Spike has also worked hard to get this chance and it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase his skills. I wish Jolyon and Spike all the best for a successful couple of days in Abu Dhabi.”

Palmer, pictured, was crowned GP2 champion at the last race in Russia, putting himself firmly in the frame for a move up to Formula 1 next season should circumstances allow it. As he continues to vie for a place on the grid, this test will give him a good chance to showcase his skills in front of the onlooking F1 teams.

“Sahara Force India has shown its faith in me by offering this opportunity and I am looking forward to repaying its trust in Abu Dhabi,” he said. “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.”

Goddard, 22, finished 23rd in this year’s FIA F3 European Championship, scoring just three points. However, he will be hoping to make a better impression in Abu Dhabi next week.

“I would like to thank Sahara Force India for this incredible opportunity,” Goddard said. “Every young racing driver dreams to be at the wheel of a Formula 1 car and I am very excited to be one of the very few who gets to fulfil this dream.

“The test is an important stage in the preparations for 2015 and I hope my contribution will be useful for the team to get a head start for next season.”