Alex Lynn, GP3, Monza, 2014

Williams name Lynn as development driver for 2015

2015 F1 season

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Alex Lynn, GP3, Monza, 2014GP3 champion Alex Lynn has been announced as Williams’ new development driver for 2015.

Lynn, who is part of Red Bull’s young driver programme, will mainly work in the team’s simulator but will also drive the FW37 at the post-Spanish Grand Prix test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

“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,” said Lynn.

“Working with people like Sir Frank Williams and Pat Symonds is an incredible opportunity for me,” he added. “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.”

Lynn’s success in GP3 last year and F3 before that means he already has enough FIA superlicence points to be eligible to race in F1 in 2016.

Williams previously announced Susie Wolff as its test driver for 2015.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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21 comments on “Williams name Lynn as development driver for 2015”

  1. Lynn, who is part of Red Bull’s young driver programme

    Well that’s an interesting mix, assuming that his exit from Red Bull’s scheme isn’t announced in the near future!

    1. And Autosport has now reported that Lynn has in fact agreed to leave the Red Bull programme.

      1. I hope this turns out well for him, he’s a great talent.

        Also, Raikkonen is officially a daddy since yesterday. :)

      2. @tdog, I wonder who will foot his bill for the GP2 season, then, Williams?

        In any case, a brave move by Lynn to leave the Red Bull program.

        1. If he stayed at Red Bull he’d have to wait a probable 2 years before a seat opens up, and even then he’d be up against Gasly for it.

          1. Those odds are in fact pretty good – going up against just one or two drivers for a guaranteed seat in about two years is much better than almost all other drivers have to make do with.

            But specifically for Lynn, it might be the wiser choice, as Williams do seem to commit to their development drivers as well.

  2. I said yesterday that a financially secure Williams should take on Stoneman or Rowland. Lynn is the same level, and also financially secure – so a good fit for both sides. He’s in a good position to succeed a retiring Felipe Massa..

    1. Either to succeed Massa or replace Botas if he gets poached by another team!

  3. So, what’s the exact difference between a test and a development driver? Can they coexist or does it mean that Wolff has been pushed aside?

    1. [Lynn] will mainly work in the team’s simulator but will also drive the FW37 at the post-Spanish Grand Prix test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

      I can only assume that he will be working alongside Wolff, just how Nasr did last year. I wouldn’t be too surprised if he was announced as their reserve driver for this year or next if he doesn’t get a race seat. I think it is a pretty smart move by Lynn, as I do not expect the Red Bull and Toro Rosso drivers to shift at all for at least the next two years, whilst Bottas is under Mercedes’ radar and Massa hasn’t got that many more years in him. Lynn is also pretty handy, as we saw in GP3, but he could do with learning some racecraft, which he will do in GP2.

  4. There should be a rule that forces teams to use their third drivers. Something like, a team’s third driver must feature in a practice session in at least 7 Grands Prix. That would make a reserve driver role at an F1 team more desirable for young drivers as they would get more experience in the car. Along with that, there should be a rule that the nominated third driver at the beginning of the season must replace a driver unable to race, to prevent situations like Valsecchi at Lotus.

  5. This is some very interesting news, and makes sense. At Redbull, he is compeeting with alot of very skilled drivers, and it’s not sure he’ll ever make it past Torro-Rosso. At Williams however, he maybe has the possibility to replace Massa in a year or two. Or Bottas, if he get’s picked up by Mercedes/Mclaren/Ferrari. Besides, Williams seems like a much more reliabable team. They guided Bottas all the way to where he is now. Certainly a much better place for a young driver then Lotus i’d say. I do however wonder if Williams had to pay Redbull as part of the agreement, right after Redbull bought Lynn his GP2 seat at DAMS. I guess we’ll never know, but if Williams invested in Lynn, chances are even greater he will driver for the team in the future.

    1. I agree. A Williams development driver(Hulk,Bottas ,MAL) is always more successful than a Lotus third driver.

  6. This news pleases me somewhat.

  7. Just another Max Chilton.

    1. Please tell me you’re joking?! Alex Lynn is in a whole different league to Chilton. For a start, he’s won stuff

  8. Was Susie Wolff granted a Super License for last years tests? If not, then it’s clear she’s going to be moved aside for Lynn because she won’t be eligible for one next year.

  9. Possibly stupid comment and question.
    With the new rules on obtaining a Super license, does that make Alex Lynn one of a smaller pool of potential F1 pilots? And currently how many Super license holders are there who are not already signed to F1 teams?

  10. Great news. Mark my words: if given the chance, Lynn will be a Championship contender. Very, very impressive and fast driver. Here’s his performance in one of the toughest tracks in the world, against some very strong opposition:

    https://vimeo.com/80187608

    Skip to 2 minutes 40 apron if only wanting to see the racing.

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