Manor Marussia F1 Team has confirmed that reserve driver Fabio Leimer will make his Formula 1 weekend debut during first practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Friday.
After winning the GP2 Series title back in 2013, Leimer was unable to find an F1 seat and instead joined Rebellion Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The Swiss driver had been due to race in the Japanese Super Formula series in 2015, but lost the seat back in March before joining Manor three months later.
Leimer (pictured right) will now make his first appearance on an F1 weekend in FP1, deputizing for Roberto Merhi.
“Running Fabio in a free practice one session is a planned opportunity that we have all been working towards for some time,” team principal John Booth said.
“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.”
Leimer is relishing the opportunity to get out on track for Manor on Friday, even if it comes on a difficult weekend for the team following the death of former driver Jules Bianchi.
“On this most difficult of weekends for the team, I am very appreciative of their decision to continue with my planned FP1 session,” Leimer said.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity and I hope I can make a positive contribution to the engineering programme for the weekend.”
Merhi will retake the reins of the MR03B car for the remainder of the weekend, racing alongside Will Stevens.