Fabio Leimer is heading to Austria this week hoping to fire up his Manor chances. The Swiss driver and 2013 GP2 champion was trackside in Canada with the backmarker team recently, in his new role as official reserve.
And Blick, the Swiss newspaper whose F1 correspondent is the paddock veteran Roger Benoit, said 26-year-old Leimer's Friday driving duties could begin this weekend in Austria.
Between Canada and Austria, his manager Sven Mangold has been frantically searching for sponsors to fund Leimer's new F1 foray.
"Actually, I cannot say anything yet, as everything depends on the sponsors," Mangold had said in Canada.
Also important is that Leimer secures the mandatory FIA super licence. "Once we have the all clear, the procedure takes a maximum of ten days," he said.
Blick said that Leimer will undergo a medical check by F1's governing body on Thursday, as his application for a super licence reaches the "final stages".
Manor is yet to officially confirm that Leimer will be in action at the Red Bull Ring on Friday morning.
"I don't know when he will be in for his first FP1," said team president Graeme Lowdon. "That will be down to (team boss) John (Booth) as it's a driver call."
For his part, however, Leimer's ambition is clear.
"My goal is very clear," he told Speed Week. "I want to move up from the Friday and reserve role to become the regular driver.
"I signed this contract with the assurance that I will take place in several Friday practices with the prospect of becoming the regular driver," Leimer added.
"From Austria the opportunity should be there to drive in FP1 but at least in the test afterwards. And then I want it to be clear that 'Fabio Leimer can do more'."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing