Fabio Leimer and Nathanael Berthon have been handed race seats for next month's GP2 Final race at Abu Dhabi, and will be lining up on the grid for the Racing Engineering team.
Leimer was in outstanding form for the team during the two recent two-day post-season test sessions in Jerez and Barcelona, and finished top of the time sheets on three of the four days.
"The two successful GP2 tests in Jerez and Barcelona with Racing Engineering have shown us what is possible if everything is working well," he confirmed. "Therefore, I am happy that I have the chance to additionally test the potential of this team under race conditions."
The 22-year-old Swiss driver has just completed a full season in GP2 with the Rapax team after spending his rookie year in 2010 with Ocean Racing Technology, and now looks favourite to join Racing Engineering in 2012.
The one-off non-championship GP2 Final race will be the first appearance for Nathanaël Berthon in the main GP2 series, although he competed for Racing Engineering in the truncated four-race GP2 Asia Series at the start of 2011.
"It's a real pleasure to work with the team again," said Berthon, who also took part in the Barcelona test session with the team. "I was competitive during the Abu Dhabi races last winter and since then I have gained quite a lot more experience," having returned in the meantime to racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.
"After the great results of both drivers in Barcelona, I am really pleased to continue with them at the Abu Dhabi races," said the president of Racing Engineering, Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón. "It's a great opportunity to see their performances under race conditions. I think that both the drivers and the team have a good fit. This makes me confident of good results for that weekend."
Leimer said that he was "very much looking forward to the races in Abu Dhabi," especially after the strength of his tests in the car. "We have obviously already tried different solutions for Abu Dhabi during the Barcelona test and I am actually quite confident we will make a good impression during the race weekend."
Berthon pointed out that "It's almost a year ago I was racing in Abu Dhabi, and I am looking forward to another race weekend there with Racing Engineering." He added: "Physically I am strong and I like the track ... Additionally I know the car and track now. I am really, really confident for the race weekend in Abu Dhabi.”
The GP2 Final is a one-off, non-championship event to mark the merger of the GP2 European and Asian Series in 2012. It's being staged as a supporting event to the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina Circuit, from 11 to 13 of November.