Fabio Leimer is a racing driver from Switzerland who was International Formula Master champion in 2009 and GP2 Series champion in 2013. Although he was successful in ladder series, he never had a chance to race in Formula 1, serving only as a test and reserve driver for Manor Marussia in 2015. In recent years, Leimer raced the most in the Ferrari Challenge.
Fabio Leimer was in April 1989 in Rothrist in northern Switzerland. He began racing karting as a teenager and quickly achieved notable results at the national level. In 2002 Fabio was ICA Junior runner-up but in the following two years he became series’ champion. Leimer stayed in karting until the end of 2006 when he finished 6th overall in the ICA category.
In parallel to his karting duties in 2006, Leimer also raced in Formula BMW ADAC and finished 4th in rookie category what was a solid start in the single-seaters. In the following season, Fabio raced in the Italian and European Formula Renault Championship with Jenzer Motorsport but without too much success.
Fabio Leimer - 2009 International Formula Master champion
International Formula Master champion in 2009
Young Swiss driver stayed with the Swiss team in 2008 but moved to International Formula Master series. Fabio had a fine season as he scored three wins and other five podiums before finishing the season as a runner-up, behind Chris van der Drift.
The following season was even better. Leimer won the International Formula Master title with seven victories out of 16 races. Fabio was superior that year and his closest rival Sergey Afanasyev was 38 points behind. After two very successful years, he was ready for further progress.
Fabio Leimer was driving for Rapax in the 2011 GP2 Series
Move to GP2 Series in 2010
After competing in GP2 Asia Series late in 2009 and early in 2010, Leimer signed with Ocean Racing Technology to race in 2010 GP2 main season. He won the race during the first weekend at Catalunya Circuit but the rest of the season was very poor. He failed to pick a single point out of 18 races and he finished 19th overall.
Next season was a small step forward. Driving for the Rapax team, Leimer again triumphed at Catalunya Circuit but also finished 2nd in the Sprint race in Monza before taking the 14th position in the final classification. The highlight of the year was a triumph at GP2 Final in Abu Dhabi when he was driving for Racing Engineering. Fabio won the Feature race and finished 10th in Sprint what was enough for the overall victory.
Finally, at the end of the year, Leimer passed a Young Driver test with Sauber and completed 74 laps but later in his career never got an opportunity to race in the most popular championship.
When it was expected to make a racing debut in Formula 1, Fabio had to settle for a role of Pirelli test driver with the Lotus Formula 1 Team in 2014. In the following year, he was named reserve and development driver of Manor MarussiaF1 Team. He got an opportunity in the free practice at Hungaroring and that was his first and last engagement in the most popular motorsport championship.
Fabio Leimer as Manor Marussia test driver
FIA WEC season with Rebellion Racing and Formula E attempt
Leimer in 2014 raced full-time in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Rebellion Racing, one of the best private LMP1 teams. However, that year wasn’t successful. Driving alongside Dominik Kraihamer and Andrea Belicchi, he had four consecutive retirements, including the one at Le Mans, at the start of the year. The situation somewhat improved in the second half of the year but that was enough only for the 17th place in the championship.
If wasn’t able to race in Formula 1, Leimer got an opportunity in the Formula E Championship. He drove for Virgin Racing in the final round of 2014/2015 season in London but not impressed with one DNF and one 14th position.
Fabio Leimer raced in the FIA WEC with Rebellion Racing
Two seasons in the Ferrari Challenge Europe
In 2016, Leimer's main competition was the Ferrari Challenge Europe. Driving for Octane 126 team, he was a race winner once.
He repeated the same in 2017 but his greatest achievement was a victory at Ferrari Challenge World Final at Mugello. He won in the Pro class of the Trofeo Pirelli competition.