DRIVER NEWS: Leist to make FIA F3 debut with Double R at Red Bull Ring

Report supplied by team PR

DRIVER NEWS 30 JULY, 2015 – MSA Formula racer Matheus Leist is to make his debut in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship with Double R Racing at the Red Bull Ring in Austria this weekend, as replacement for injured category regular Nicolas Pohler.

Forced to miss the eighth event of the 2015 season as a result of breaking his arm in a training accident, German youngster Pohler is aiming to be back to full fitness in time for the championship’s visit to Portimao in Portugal in early September.

Brazilian Leist, who competes with Double R in the UK-based MSA Formula series where he is a race winner and title contender, will have his maiden run in the Dallara-Mercedes F3 car on Friday during free practice at the Red Bull Ring ahead of the weekend’s qualifying sessions.

Heading out to Austria with Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt’s team for a real baptism of fire in the globe’s biggest and most competitive Formula 3 category, the 17-year-old faces a huge challenge but will have the benefit of working alongside Double R’s other F3 pilot Matt Solomon.

“Everyone at Double R is obviously wishing Nici a speedy recovery from his injury. He broke his arm after falling off a bike in training in Italy, but he’s fully focused on being back for the next round in Portimao,” said Hieatt. “Matheus isn’t expecting much from the Red Bull Ring, he knows it’s going to be a huge learning curve and a major challenge against some very quick and experienced drivers.

“Racing in FIA F3 can’t be underestimated, it’s one of the hardest and most competitive categories in the world at any level but it’s an exciting opportunity for Matheus at this point of his career. We’re all really looking forward to seeing how he gets on.”

Leist, who does have some Formula 3 experience from the 2014 Brazilian F3 Light Series, where he secured two Class B victories and several other podiums, has been a revelation in his first season of racing outside South America this year in MSA Formula.

Claiming two podiums on the opening weekend of the season at Brands Hatch, the teenage ace went on to take his maiden MSA Formula victory during the second event of the campaign at Donington Park. He is currently third in the championship standings with a total of five podiums.

Leist far from least in Donington MSA Formula thriller

  • Matheus Leist puts his qualifying problems behind him to claim a maiden MSA Formula victory
  • Ricky Collard second ahead of Sennan Fielding, with Dan Ticktum once again the Rookie class winner

DONINGTON PARK 19 APRIL, 2015 – MSA Formula celebrated its fourth different race victor in five races this morning as Brazil’s Matheus Leist joined the winner’s circle for the first time. Leist’s Double R-prepared Ford EcoBoost racer led all the way from turn one to the chequered flag but the 16-year-old prodigy was kept on his toes throughout by his pursuers Sennan Fielding and Ricky Collard.

It was a great reversal of fortune for Leist, who yesterday suffered a suspension problem in qualifying which left him 18th on the grid for Donington’s first race. Hard work and perseverance saw Matheus finish the opener in seventh spot, earning him P2 on the grid for this morning’s reverse-grid sprint.

A demon getaway at the lights saw Leist slice ahead of pole man Jack Barlow (MBM) and turn into Redgate corner ahead of the pack, with Fielding’s JHR Developments car shooting through to second from P4 at the expense of Collard (TRS Arden) and Barlow. By the first lap’s end Leist was six-tenths clear and he increased his advantage over Sennan to two seconds by the sixth tour.

Collard took his time to recover from what was by his standards a relatively slow getaway and he pounced for second place down Starkeys Straight on lap seven to demote Fielding, still suffering the downshift problems which have beset him all weekend, to third. This action gave Leist the opportunity to build his lead to five seconds and, though Collard nibbled away to reduce it to 2.8s by the end, Leist’s victory and his £1000 Ford cash prize was never in great danger. Fielding’s third was his maiden podium finish in MSA Formula.

Winner Matheus Leist: “It was good. I did a good start and I lead all the race, and I want to thank the whole team for helping me. Yesterday I was P18 in qualifying because I had some problems but today we did an excellent job.”

Second, Ricky Collard: “I didn’t make the usual Collard start; I don’t know what happened. But my race pace was good and I think we’re in good shape generally. I just need to improve my qualifying.”

Third, Sennan Fielding: “We’ve still a few issues. When I’m on the limit it’s not down-shifting properly, which is frustrating. Once you have a problem like that it knocks your confidence a bit. Everyone is trying their hardest to fix it. It’s a shame because we have the pace to win.”

Rookie runner-up, Dan Baybutt: “As the race wore on I was struggling a bit to sift down gears. That’s why my pace went off. But I had a good start and my tyres are in good shape for the final race.”

Barlow kept well in touch with the top three throughout to secure his second top-four finish of the year, finishing well ahead of championship leader and Saturday Donington victor Dan Ticktum (Fortec), who started eighth and picked off the cars of Lando Norris (Carlin) and Dan Baybutt (JTR) early on before claiming fifth from Gustavo Myasava (Double R) mid-race. It was Ticktum’s fifth consecutive Rookie class win.

Norris slipped to eighth on the opening lap and drove well in the latter stages to claw his way back to sixth past Myasava and Baybutt. James Pull took seventh for JTR ahead of Myasava, Carlin’s Colton Herta and Baybutt, who was another suffering with downshift issues. Baybutt took the second spot on the Rookie podium, with Racing Steps Foundation driver Josh Smith third in class (and 13th overall).

Louise Richardson bettered her Brands Hatch best with 11th for Richardson Racing, ahead of Jack Butel (SWB), whose 12th was a personal best, Smith and JTR’s rookie Ameya Vaidyanathan. Rafael Martins (SWB) was delayed towards the end with a flapping front wing but survived to complete the top 15.

Sandy Mitchell’s race was run after six laps after he and his TRS Arden team-mate Enaam Ahmed clashed while disputing 11th place. Mitchell spun off while Ahmed suffered wing damage which necessitated a pit stop; he finished 19th, four laps down. Darius Karbaley (Falcon) joined Mitchell in retirement on the final lap when he spun out of 12th spot.

Provisional results Round 5, Donington Park 19 April 2015
18 laps / 35.62 miles

1 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R 20m 46.252s / 102.79mph
2 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden +2.852s
3 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +5.161s
4 Jack BARLOW / GBR / MBM +5.570s
5 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec +12.729s
6 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +16.212s
7 James PULL / GBR / JTR +20.893s
8 Gustavo MYASAVA / BRA / Double R +21.121s
9 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +21.534s
10 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +22.224s etc

Fastest lap Barlow 1m 08.140s / 104.55mph

Rookie class 1 Ticktum, 2 Baybutt, 3 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec, 4 Ameya VAIDYANATHAN / IND / JTR, 5 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB etc

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Ticktum 88 points; 2 Norris 73; 3 Collard 69; 4 Leist 65; 5 Pull 62; 6 Fielding 38 etc.
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 133; 2 Baybutt 80; 3 Petru Florescu 53; 4 Enaam Ahmed 48; 5 Smith 47 etc

Double R signs Brazilian talent Matheus Leist for MSA Formula

  • 17-year-old Leist joins Tarun Reddy on the Double R ticket for 2015
  • Matheus gets to grips with his new Ford EcoBoost-powered chassis at Silverstone today

16 March, 2015 – A second young Brazilian driver has joined the Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula grid for the coming season. He is 16-year-old Matheus Tobias Leist, who was announced today as the Double R Racing team’s new signing and was immediately pressed into action at Silverstone, venue for today’s championship test sessions.

Leist, from Novo Hamburgo, joins Indian teenager Tarun Reddy in forming two-thirds of Double R’s planned three-car entry into MSA Formula. He graduated from karting to cars last year, racing in the Brazilian F3 Light series and claiming two Class B victories along with seven further podiums on his way to second in the championship.

Said Matheus: “I am very pleased to race my first season in the UK with Double R and Boyo [Anthony Hieatt]; he was engineer for my manager, Danilo Dirani, in his first year in F3 in 2004. I know it is a very good team and I trust what Danilo says about racing in the UK; I am looking forward to the season and to having fun.”

“We are delighted to have secured Matheus’ signature for MSA Formula,” said Double R team boss Hieatt. “He’s a young driver with a lot of potential and has a good group of people around him too with Dirani Management looking after his career. We are all expecting MSA Formula to be hugely competitive, but Matheus’ F3 experience will stand him in good stead.”

The championship’s other Brazilian driver is 16-year-old Rafael Martins, who will drive for the SWB Motorsport team. Five different nationalities are represented on the MSA Formula grid so far, with drivers from the USA, Romania and India joining the Brazilians and the Brits.