Alex Lynn has set his sights on making a full-time switch to sports cars with a manufacturer in 2017, after admitting defeat in his plans to graduate to Formula 1.
A former Macau GP winner and GP3 champion, Lynn has been a Williams F1 development driver for the past two seasons, but with teenager Lance Stroll signing for the team for 2017, he recognizes that sports car racing offers his best career prospects.
The Englishman, a two-time GP2 winner this season, tested a factory Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE in Bahrain on Sunday, 24 hours after racing a Manor Oreca 05 Nissan in the season-ending Six Hours of Bahrain.
“At the end of the day, my goal for next year is to drive for a manufacturer and be a factory driver in whichever class of racing it is,” Lynn told Sportscar365.
“I got the opportunity to test the Aston Pro car and I would never turn something like that down.
“To put it bluntly, the dynamic of Formula 1 has changed a lot since I started racing and it’s just not viable in realistic terms for good racing drivers anymore.
“My CV has got me very close to Formula 1 and maybe in a different era I would have been racing there, but in this day and age, the dynamic isn’t there to get that to work.
“My goal is to try and get myself a factory drive with a manufacturer. I definitely would make this a full-time thing if I got the right opportunity.”
Lynn enjoyed his first experience of a GT car, which came a year after he was invited to test the previous-generation Toyota TS040 Hybrid.
He completed 22 laps in the morning session, with a best time half a second faster than GP2 rival Jordan King.
“It’s very different [to the Oreca 05], but very nice, I really enjoyed it,” he said.
“The big difference you notice is that a P2 is a customer car, so everything built to a cost, but when you drive a factory car, everything is built to perfection. Everything you touch has got fantastic build quality, so just to drive is really nice.
“The mechanical grip of the GT car was very good. Actually when I was driving the P2, compared to the GT cars in the middle of the corner they were probably the same speed as us, and when they were on new tire, they were probably a bit quicker.
“Obviously there’s less aero so from my side there was a change of mindset, but in general I thought I got up to speed quite quickly and did a reasonable job. I only had the laps in the car, but I tried to do my best.”
However, Lynn played down the significance of the test and suggested that there was no pressure placed on his shoulders.
“I think it’s just an opportunity for everyone to evaluate their options,” he said.
“But if something interesting comes along, then I would take a very serious look at it.”