x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Fabio Leimer confirmed for Sauber in Young Driver Tests programme

The Sauber F1 team will give valuable experience to their Swiss driver at Yas Marina Circuit next month, two days after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

ABU DHABI // Sauber F1 Team have confirmed they will provide Swiss driver Fabio Leimer with his first experience in a Formula One car next month during the Young Driver Tests at Yas Marina Circuit.

The driver test programme, which is open to potential Formula One drivers who have competed in no more than two F1 grands prix, is scheduled to start two days after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 13. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber's Mexican reserve driver, will be behind the wheel for two of the three days in the UAE capital.

Leimer, who has driven in both GP2 and GP2 Asia, said the opportunity to drive for F1's only Swiss marque was special.

"When I found out that I will definitely take part in the Formula One test, I realised for the first time what this actually means," he said. "Being a racing driver, of course, you always dream of Formula One - that this dream is now coming true is almost unbelievable.

"On top of that not many Swiss drivers have ever had the chance to test for the Sauber F1 Team. For this reason it is an even more special honour for me to be able to get my first laps in an F1 car under my belt as a Swiss for the Swiss team."

Last year's tests saw Sauber give a chance to Sergio Perez, who went on to secure a race seat and has competed in all but two of the 16 grands prix this season. Fellow rookies Pastor Maldonado, Paul di Resta and Jerome d'Ambrosio also all took part at Yas Marina last season.

Monisha Kalternborn, the Sauber chief executive, said: "The test opportunities for young drivers are extremely limited nowadays. It is always exciting to see how they deal with all the complexity of a Formula One test."

gmeenaghan@thenational.ae


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