Fellow race drivers have been heavily critical of Lotus' decision to sign Carmen Jorda as its development driver for the 2015 season.

The Enstone team announced on Thursday that 26-year-old Spanish female driver Jorda will attend grands prix in 2015, work on the simulator and even test the new E23 car.

Jorda has raced in Indy Lights and most recently GP3, where in 2012-2014 she finished the championship in 28th, 30th and 29th places respectively.

She qualified last in every qualifying session last year, before she was replaced at Koiranen by Dean Stoneman, who put the same car on pole in his first race with the team.

Rob Cregan, who was Jorda's GP3 teammate in 2012, said on Twitter: \"Carmen Jorda couldn't develop a roll of film let alone a hybrid F1 car.\"

\"F1 is about talent not money and nagging up fake positions,\" Cregan added.

Another of Jorda's on-track rivals, 2014 GP3 race winner Richie Stanaway, reacted to the news on Twitter simply with the comment \"LOL\" (laughing out loud).

Mitch Evans, GP3's 2012 champion and a race winner in GP2 last year, used his Twitter identity to say: \"It's not April 1st yet\".