Fabio Leimer joins Manor in reserve driver role

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2013 GP2 champion Fabio Leimer has joined Manor Marussia F1 Team in a reserve role for the rest of the 2015 Formula 1 season.

Leimer won the feeder series two years ago ahead of Sam Bird and James Calado, but was unable to find a seat in F1 for 2014 and has since raced in the FIA World Endurance Championship for Rebellion Racing.

The Swiss driver had been due to race in the Japanese Super Formula series this season, only for the deal to fall through back in March.

However, Leimer appears to have landed on his feet, with Manor announcing on Wednesday that the 26-year-old would be working in a reserve role at the team for the rest of the season.

“Fabio will join the team at selected races, working closely with the drivers and engineers to aid the team’s development programme and on standby to deputize for a race driver in the event that they are unable to take part in race weekend activities,” a statement from Manor read.

“To prepare him for the role, the team will be providing Fabio with the opportunity to drive the MR03B in selected Free Practice 1 sessions of the FIA Formula One World Championship.”

Leimer felt delighted to have finally secured a role within F1 and is confident he can be of good use to Manor.

“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,” Leimer said.

“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.”