2013 GP2 champion Fabio Leimer tested a 2012 Lotus F1 Team car as part of his prize for winning the championship from Pirelli.

The 25 year old won the 2013 title with Racing Engineering, although was unable to secure a Formula 1 driver for 2014.

Leimer is now driving in the World Endurance Championship with Rebellion Racing.

Leimer champion

Leimer is the reigning GP2 Series champion

The test was held at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France, where the Swiss driver completed 78 laps and around 300 kilometres.

It was the first time that Leimer had been in a Formula One car since he tested a Sauber in the 2011 young driver test in Abu Dhabi, also running Pirelli tyres.

This time he was testing Pirelli’s demo tyres, and as required by Formula One regulations, a two-year-old car.

The demo tyres carry the same markings as current Formula One tyres, although they are not as technologically advanced. They still come in different compounds and are not too far off the pace of the current Formula One tyres.

Leimer started with a baseline run on the medium demo tyre, and then compared it to the soft and hard demo tyres using the same car set-up, so that the tyres were the only variable. He used seven sets of Pirelli’s demo rubber across the three compounds, completing 42 laps in the morning on short runs and 36 laps in the afternoon on two long runs.

“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; the medium tyre in particular was very consistent.

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! ”

  Images via Pirelli media and GP2 media

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Josh Kruse

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