2013 GP2 Series champion Fabio Leimer has joined the Manor F1 Team as their official Reserve Driver for the remainder of the 2015 Formula 1 season.
The Swiss driver will participate in a number of Free Practice sessions this season as part of his role, as well as working with the race drivers and engineers to develop the MR03B and its potential successor when it hits the track later this year.
“I’m thrilled to be provided with this opportunity and I’d like to thank the Manor Marussia F1 Team for the faith they have shown in my ability,” said Leimer, who in 2014 raced in the World Endurance Championship with Rebellion Racing.
“In particular I’m very excited to have the chance to drive the car in selected FP1s, but I am also looking forward to spending a lot of time trackside with the team, contributing my observations and experience in engineering situations and also learning about the team and a Formula 1 operation.
“It’s a huge step for me and I can’t wait to get started and hopefully reward the team’s confidence in me.”
Team Principal John Booth has welcomed the appointment of Leimer as Reserve Driver, believing the young Swiss driver has earned this opportunity after his performances in the junior formulae over the years.
“We’re delighted to welcome Fabio to our team,” insisted Booth. “We always keep a close eye on drivers competing in the feeder series and their potential for making the step up to Formula 1.
“Fabio has been on that radar for a number of years, so we’re pleased to give him the opportunity to progress as he is a very talented driver and certainly deserving of this opportunity.
“Fabio will be joining us at selected races for the rest of the season, contributing to engineering meetings and on hand to substitute for either race driver should they be unable to compete at any stage.
“Familiarity with the car is therefore important, so we plan to run Fabio in a number of opening free practice sessions this season, allowing us to further evaluate his potential.”