As part of his prize for winning last year’s GP2 Series, exclusively supplied by Pirelli, Swiss driver Fabio Leimer will test a 2012 Lotus Formula One car at Paul Ricard in the south of France on Tuesday 27 May.

The test has been made possible by Pirelli, as part of GP2’s philosophy to prepare drivers for Formula One as comprehensively as possible. In attendance will be Lotus F1 Team driver Pastor Maldonado, himself a former GP2 champion in 2010, and Lotus F1 Team reserve driver Nicolas Prost. Lotus F1 deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi will also be present, together with Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola.

Isola commented: “We’re delighted that Fabio will get the chance to drive a Formula One car as part of his prize for winning GP2, underlining our commitment to do everything we can to help our GP2 drivers reach the top. He’ll have the opportunity to test for 300 kilometres on the 3.8-kilometre track configuration, so it’s going to be a memorable experience for everybody present. Fabio will be able to sample our demo tyres, in different compounds and with different fuel loads, so it will be interesting to hear his feedback about how they compare to the GP2 tyres he used to win the title.”

The Paul Ricard track, now an advanced testing facility, last hosted the French Grand Prix in 1990. Leimer, who has previously tested for Sauber in an official young driver test, won the GP2 title last year with Racing Engineering, claiming seven podiums and three wins (in Malaysia, Bahrain, and Italy). Currently the 25-year-old is also preparing for a different type of challenge: he is set to make his LMP1 debut at Le Mans with Rebellion Racing from 14-15 June.

Note to media: Media are very welcome to attend the test at the French track, which will get underway at 0900. Please confirm to Pirelli’s media office by the end of Friday (contacts listed below) whether or not you would like to come. Interviews will be available all day with the drivers, and Leimer will also host a debrief together with Mario Isola at the end of the session. The Paul Ricard circuit is located just over two hours away from Monaco by car, for media attending the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.

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For further information please contact:
Roberto Boccafogli • +39 335 125 6694 • roberto.boccafogli@pirelli.com
(Head of F1 Press Office)

Francescopaolo Tarallo • +39 334 684 4307 • francescopaolo.tarallo@pirelli.com
(Head of Product and Motorsport Communication)

Alexandra Schieren • +33 607 03 69 03 • alexandra.schieren@pirelli.com
Anthony Peacock • +44 7765 896 930 • anthony@mediaticaworld.com