Former GP2 champion Fabio Leimer has joined Manor as reserve driver, and the Swiss will be given some FP1 sessions over the course of this season.
The 26-year-old won the GP2 title in 2013, but despite testing for Sauber never really had the momentum with which to move into F1.
Team boss John Booth said: “Fabio will be joining us at selected races for the rest of the season, contributing to engineering meetings and on hand to substitute for either race driver should they be unable to compete at any stage. Familiarity with the car is therefore important, so we plan to run Fabio in a number of opening free practice sessions this season, allowing us to further evaluate his potential.”
“In particular I’m very excited to have the chance to drive the car in selected FP1s,” said Leimer. “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.”