It was announced yesterday by the Manor Formula 1 team that they have signed 2013 GP2 champion Fabio Leimer as its reserve driver for the remainder of the season.
Leimer missed out on an F1 seat following his GP2 title triumph, and last year he raced for the Rebellion LMP1 team in the World Endurance Championship. The 26-year-old, who tested for Sauber in the 2011 young-driver test, will drive in yet-to-be confirmed Friday free practice sessions.
In an interview with the media yesterday, Leimer is clearly delighted to have secured this opportunity this season with Manor and is looking forward to getting settled with the team and learning more as a driver. Leimer stated the following:-
‘I’m thrilled to be provided with this opportunity and I’d like to thank the Manor Marussia for the faith they have shown in my ability.
‘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.’
It is clear for all to see that Leimer is happy to have secured the opportunity with Manor this season and is looking forward to getting settled into the team, learning more about them and also learning and developing as a driver in the process. As he says himself, this is a big step forward in his career and demonstrates that Manor have every confidence in his ability as a driver and he now wants to repay the faith that the team have entrusted in him this season.
Even though it is a great opportunity for Leimer, his role also follows the team’s announcement that former Mercedes Technical Director Bob Bell has joined Manor as a technical consultant alongside the addition of Gianluca Pisanello as chief engineer and former Toro Rosso chief designer Luca Furbatto as its head of design.
These new additions to the Manor F1 team show that they are taking small and necessary steps to build a solid foundation that they can work towards in the near future and hopefully we will see them become more competitive on the track in the near future. With regards to Leimer, he has a chance to learn more about Formula One and to learn it in a new team that is growing slowly.
Not many young drivers get this opportunity everyday and it is now up to Leimer to demonstrate why he was signed for the team in the first place and perform on the track when he is given the opportunity to do so. I wish him the best of luck in his new role.