British F3 champion: Europe too expensive
6 February 2017 – Reigning British Formula 3 champion Matheus Leist says trying to progress up the European single-seater ladder is too expensive and political, after committing to Indy Lights for 2017.
Leist, 19, emerged triumphant in last year's BRDC Formula 3 series, which uses Formula 4 cars, and tested GP3 machinery post-season with ART Grand Prix, Trident and Arden.
However, rather than pursue a career in European single-seater competition, Leist has instead switched to America, and will compete in Indy Lights, IndyCar's feeder series, with Carlin.
"It was not so much of GP3 itself that I gave up, but of Europe," Leist told Grande Premio.
"For me, everything [in Europe] is very political today, not only GP3, it's a lot of money involved, but the US gives a lot of opportunity for good drivers, champions.
"The 'Road to Indy' fits in perfectly with what I'm looking for today: I want to have a career in motorsport, to have that as a profession.
"The option for Lights is to think about my future and what will be of my career. It's great too: $1 million to race at Indy [if you win the championship]."
Leist, though, insists he has not given up on becoming the latest Formula 1 driver to hail from Brazil, a nation that has had a relative lack of success in recent years.
"Let's imagine that I come to Indy, start winning races and have a great performance there, maybe the chances of going to F1 will appear, but today the focus is on Indy," he added.