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Leimer completes test with Pirelli and Lotus

27 May 2014

Swiss driver Fabio Leimer, last year’s GP2 champion, tested a 2012 Lotus F1 car on Tuesday as part of his prize from tyre suppliers Pirelli for winning the series.

Leimer, 25, completed 78 laps and around 300 kilometres of the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France, run in 3.8-kilometre configuration and using part of the famous Mistral straight.

“It was an absolutely fantastic experience and I really enjoyed myself,” said Leimer. “In the morning we had a bit of understeer due to the conditions, but during the long runs in the afternoon I developed a really good feeling with the car and tyres.”

Leimer, who last tested an F1 car with Sauber at the 2011 young driver session, was using Pirelli’s demo tyres and a two-year-old car, as required by the current Formula One regulations. Demo tyres are less advanced than the tyres used at Grands Prix, but still come in different compounds and are not far off the pace.

“It was a great opportunity and I could certainly see the difference in the various compounds I tested,” added Leimer. “I’d like to thank Pirelli for this chance that will definitely help me in future. Now I’m just looking forward to driving a Formula One car again!”

Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “Fabio was impressive both in terms of his pace and his feedback. While our demo tyres are not quite the same as the real Formula One tyres, they are still enough to give a good idea of what it is like to drive at the very top level. We were delighted to offer him this opportunity and the chance to prove once more that graduates from the GP2 Series - especially the champion - are more than ready to face the demands of Formula One.”

Leimer is currently competing in the FIA World Endurance Car championship with Rebellion Racing.