Reigning GP2 Series champion Fabio Leimer says he feels at home in the World Endurance Championship having been forced to put his dreams of reaching Formula 1 on hiatus.
The Swiss driver defeated Sam Bird and James Calado to the 2013 GP2 Series title, but a relative lack of funding would see him snubbed by prospective F1 teams seeking the added caveat of significant financial backing to consolidate talent.
As such, Leimer – along with Bird and Calado – have turned their attentions to sportscar competition in 2014, the 25-year-old securing a drive with the Rebellion Racing LMP1 squad in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Though the privateer Toyota-powered prototype isn't a match for the three manufacturer backed LMP1 entries from Audi, Porsche and Toyota and the only other direct competition comes from the sister Rebellion machine as it stands, Leimer is enjoying his time in the sportscar division.
“I have to say LMP1 is much better than I expected,” he told Crash.net
. “For me it is not really a sportscar championship, it is like a formula car. It is close to a GP2 car to drive but there are so many things happening around.
“I am happy because every year there are some really strong drivers in WEC, so I think it is a nice championship to be in at the moment.
Touching on the prospect of beating a path to F1 via the WEC, Leimer admits he has just one more year to try and source a drive before he calls time on it.
“I am already 25, so I think we can still try it maybe next year, but after that I think it will be over. LMP1 is a great place for the future as a driver, so I think I am in the right place at the moment.”