Hailing from Switzerland, Leimer won the GP2 Series title in 2013 – an achievement which once would have guaranteed him a Formula One seat, as it did for the likes of Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Timo Glock, Nico Hulkenberg, and Pastor Maldonado. However Leimer has been struggling to find his place, trying his hand at endurance prototypes last season, and settling for a test-driver role with the struggling Manor Marussia F1 team this year. He drove the Spark-Renault SRT_01E electric racer during pre-season testing at Donington Park, and will undoubtedly be striving for a chance to shine again this weekend.
Leimer will be stepping in for Jaime Alguersuari, the one-time F3 champion and former F1 driver who's been driving for Virgin in Formula E since the start of the season (but has yet to make it onto the podium). Jaime fainted after the last race in Moscow due to dehydration and exhaustion, and has had his race license suspended by the FIA pending medical examinations. You can read the full declaration Alguersuari made on Facebook, along with the announcement of his replacement, below.
Virgin Racing currently rests sixth place in the teams' championship standings. Alguersuari stands in eleventh place in the drivers' standings, and his teammate Sam Bird (having won the second round in Malaysia) sits in sixth. Other new drivers lining up for the final rounds include Simona de Silverstro, Sakon Yamamoto and Oliver Turvey.
London|23 Jun 15
Ex-GP2 champion Fabio Leimer will make his Formula E debut in the Visa London ePrix for Virgin Racing on June 27.
Leimer, who started the season as the reserve driver for Amlin Aguri, has been drafted in the place of Jaime Alguersuari.
Virgin still has a mathematical chance of clinching the drivers' title with Sam Bird, and is in a tight three-way battle for fourth place in the teams' championship together with Dragon Racing and Andretti.
Leimer has experience of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, having driven for Amlin Aguri during pre-season testing at Donington.
Fabio Leimer said: "As a racing driver, I love a challenge and so joining Virgin Racing for the Visa London ePrix will be a great test. It's going to be an incredible and unique experience racing on the London street circuit and an even more special occasion racing for a new team in their home race. I'm looking forward to racing alongside Sam and hopefully contributing to a successful season finale for the team."
Alex Tai, the Team Principal of Virgin Racing, added: "We are delighted to have a driver of Fabio's quality and experience join the team for the final race of the season in London. This weekend promises to be a fantastic end to a great championship and so we're looking forward to seeing Fabio and Sam finish the season for the team in style."
Jaime Alguersuari official statement
On June 6th, after the Moscow ePrix I suffered a faint as a result of dehydration and extreme exhaustion during the race.
As a consecuence of this faint I had some medical tests done, with succesful results, and at the moment my license is temporarily suspended until the FIA makes sure that I'm fully able to carry on with my sporting career.
My health is safe and I'm in shape, and I'm absolutely convinced I can compete this weekend, but for security reasons we need to delve into medical research. For this reason, together with Virgin Racing, the FIA and the doctors we've decided not to take part in the London ePrix this weekend.
It's a shame because it will be the last ePrix of the season and I wanted to race in front of our fans, but we must be respectful with the FIA's procedures.
I want to wish all the luck to my team Virgin Racing in the last ePrix of the 2014/15 Formula E season.