Interview with Leimer after Formula 1 test
27 May 2014 – Fabio Leimer reflects on his Formula 1 test at Paul Ricard, where he completed 78 laps in the 2012 Lotus F1 Team car...
Fabio, how did you find the whole experience?
It was unbelievable. You know, when you get the chance to drive a Formula 1 car it is always something very different and special, so I am very thankful to Pirelli for giving me this opportunity. It was really interesting to try the different compounds and feel the difference between them. So I was massively happy and excited about today and now I just hope I get the chance to try a Formula 1 car again!
You've tested a Formula 1 car before, at the 2011 Young Driver test in Abu Dhabi, also using Pirelli tyres. How did that compare with your latest test today?
To be honest, it was three years ago when I last drove a Formula 1 car so it's not that easy to say now. But one thing I did notice today was that as I was getting in the car I felt much more calm and focused, so I found it a lot easier to concentrate on what the car and the tyres were doing. Before, it was my first time in a Formula 1 car so I was much more nervous.
What did you think of all the different tyres?
This morning it was hard to get a good impression as the track was really bad. It was not so easy to get grip and I had some understeer but really that was all about installation. In the afternoon we made some set-up changes and started to improve. The long runs were really good, particularly on the medium tyre. On the soft tyre I struggled a little bit more. Generally though the tyres were all very consistent and good to drive. A fantastic experience."
How do these F1 demo tyres compare to the GP2 tyres you have been used to driving?
You can't really compare them, as they are not the same thing. A Formula 1 car is obviously a lot quicker and has more downforce than GP2. But it definitely helped in the test that I had some experience of Pirelli tyres from GP2. The principle is the same: you know the tyre and you know how to work the tyre. So it certainly helps to have done GP2 if you want to step up to Formula 1: no question.
You're competing in the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans this year: is endurance racing where your future lies?
Who knows? I had the chance to have a seat in LMP1, which is a very good category, so I had to take it. But my dream is still Formula 1. That's where I want to go but I am already 25 now so if I am going to do it, this needs to happen soon. The experience I have taken today certainly helps.