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Racing Engineering confirms Leal and Leimer
16 January 2013
Fabio Leimer is to return to GP2 for a second season with Racing Engineering, with the Swiss driver being joined by Colombian star Julian Leal for the 2013 season.
"I am very happy I can drive again with Racing Engineering," said Leimer. "I already felt very comfortable in this team last year, our collaboration was extremely professional and I am happy we can continue to build on this."
Leimer scored a win in his debut for the team in the non-championship GP2 Final event in Abu Dhabi at the end of 2012, but despite featuring toward the front of the grid on many occasions his luck was continually thwarted when it came to the 2012 championship.
Ill luck meant that he failed to win a race last year, although he claimed three second places and three third places over the course of the year. Even so, he was left frustrated to finish in seventh place in the driver standings at the end of the year, and eager for another chance to prove his abilities.
"I am convinced that in 2013 we have very good chances to win the championship," he said. " would also like to thank all those, who are additionally supporting me. It was not easy to obtain the funds for another season in GP2. Now I am optimistically looking forward and am impatiently waiting for the first race on March 23 to start."
Leimer will be joined at the team by 22-year-old Colombian driver Julian Leal, who comes to Racing Engineering after two seasons in GP2, initially with Rapax alongside Leimer in 2011 before moving to Trident Racing last season where he was paired with Stéphane Richelmi.
Leal has yet to clinch a podium position in his time in GP2, and hopes that a move to one of the leading teams in the series will be just the boost he needs.
"Racing Engineering is a team I believe in and where I feel that I can demonstrate the experience I have gained so far," he said. "I am happy we reached agreement and that Racing Engineering will be my team in 2013.
"I will be giving everything to achieve the best possible results," Leal continued. "It is a positive point to be able to work again with Fabio as he is a very fast driver and we will be able to compare the data to continually improve."
The president of Racing Engineering, Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón, was certainly sounding delighted with his new driver line-up, and optimistic that the team would be back in contention for the team championship in 2013 after a rather flat season last year by their high standards.
"I think that both drivers are professional, will be able to complement each other and can push each other for the best possible results," he said. "This should allow us to have a very productive season.
"I am very happy that Fabio is driving for our team for another year in 2013," de Orléans-Borbón continued. "He has already showed last year that he is one of the best up and coming drivers. In 2012 he finished on the podium six times and led races for many laps.
"What makes me the happiest is that we can build on what we learned together in 2012 and this makes me confident for the upcoming season," he added, before making clear his expectations of the team and driver for the forthcoming campaign: "It is our goal that Fabio wins the championship."
As for new boy Leal, de Orléans-Borbón extended him a warm welcome to the Spanish squad and said that the best was yet to come from the youngster.
"2013 will be the year where we will see his full potential," de Orléans-Borbón insisted. "He has the ability and the determination to get the job done. Julian has already worked with Fabio and after a thorough preparation during the pre-season; I am convinced he will quickly obtain good results."
Leimer and Leal will take to the track for the first time in 2013 at the pre-season GP2 test at Jerez in Spain on February 26-28.
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