Manor's Fabio Leimer gets F1 grand prix practice debut in Hungary

Fabio Leimer is to make his Formula 1 debut on Friday with a run out for Manor in first practice ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix

Manor's Fabio Leimer gets F1 grand prix practice debut in Hungary

Leimer, GP2 champion in 2013, was signed by Manor early in June as the team's reserve driver to Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi.

The 26-year-old from Switzerland, who replaces Merhi for the opening 90-minute run at the Hungaroring, is grateful for the chance, which comes during a tough week for Manor following the death of 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," said Leimer.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity, and I hope I can make a positive contribution to the engineering programme for the weekend."

Ahead of Leimer's maiden outing, team principal John Booth said: "Running Fabio in a free practice one session is a planned opportunity 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."

After winning the GP2 crown, Leimer was part of Rebellion's World Endurance Championship LMP1 programme last year.

His only race outing so far in 2015 has been standing in for Jaime Alguersuari in the Virgin Racing line-up at the Formula E finale.

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