After a season in which he took the BRDC British F3 title, Brazilian rising star Matheus Leist has joined Carlin, the team he beat to the crown, for a year in Indy Lights.
Leist has been a prominent name towards the top of British racing for the last two seasons. He was an early contender in the MSA Formula series throughout 2015, before making the step up to the BRDC championship.
Over the course of the year, he picked up four wins and eleven podiums on his way to the title in which he defeated Ricky Collard and the Carlin crew after coming from behind in the final round. The Double R Racing driver finished below the top six just once all season with an achievement that adds on to his runner-up status in the Brazilian F3 series two years prior.
“I’m very excited to be joining Carlin in Indy Lights.” said Leist “I had quite a few options open to me in 2017, but a combination of things, including the opportunities in the US and on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, made Indy Lights a great option for me.
“I have raced against Carlin before so I know how hard they push as a team to win. I’m incredibly excited to get out on track in the car and get the season underway.”
He isn’t the first BRDC F3 driver to make the leap this season, with former Carlin driver Colton Herta racing for the Andretti Autosport squad.
Speaking to TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk at the final race of last season, Leist expressed his confidence he could drive in the GP3 Series this year, perhaps proving how difficult it is for drivers, even after winning titles to collect funding to race in Europe on the main ladder to F1.
Carlin though go into the year as defending champions and will need a driver who has proven he can fight for titles. Leist will be joined by U.S. F2000 National Championship graduate Garth Rickards.