It has been announced today that Fabio Leimer will take part in his first F1 grand prix weekend when he drives for Manor in FP1 at the Hungaroring.
The Swiss racer, who joined the team earlier this year, will replace Roberto Merhi in the weekend’s opening practice session.
The team announced that his Friday run was a “scheduled step in his ‘induction'” in order to ensure that he would be able to deputise in the event that a race driver cannot compete.
In an interview with the media today, Manor F1 Team Principal John Booth has stated that Leimer’s outing was scheduled and that they are looking forward to seeing how he progresses during his outing. Booth stated the following:-
‘Running Fabio in a Free Practice 1 session is a planned opportunity that we have all been working towards for some time. We have enjoyed welcoming him into the team over the past few races and it will be interesting to gain his feedback on the car and assess his performance.’
In his own interview with the media today Leimer added the following on the subject of his FP1 run this weekend as follows:-
‘On this most difficult of weekends for the team, I am very appreciative of their decision to continue with my planned FP1 session. I’m looking forward to the opportunity and I hope I can make a positive contribution to the engineering programme for the weekend.’
Leimer for me sums the situation up. Even though this is a difficult weekend for the Manor team especially after the tragic passing of Jules Bianchi last Friday night, he is hoping to use the opportunity he has been given and wants to deliver the best performance possible while also helping the team with regards to set up over the weekend.
For Leimer, he has been given the chance that many young drivers would love to have and he has to ensure that he does the best job on the track while also gaining crucial mileage and experience with the car and also with the team in order to improve as a driver. Let’s see how he delivers tomorrow and I wish him the best of luck.