Consider this bit of news a win-win for up-and-coming American driver Gustavo Menezes and for fans of, potentially, an American one day making it to Formula One.
The 20-year-old California native, who had been in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder stateside before moving abroad to Europe, shifts from Van Amersfoort Racing to Carlin Racing for his second season in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship.
This championship has already produced Max Verstappen, who moves up to F1 next year with Scuderia Toro Rosso, and Esteban Ocon, who has tested for Lotus’ F1 team both in free practice one during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend and the postseason test last week.
But back to Menezes, who laid the groundwork for success in 2015 after finishing 11th as a rookie this season with two podium finishes, both third-place results. He also banked a top-10 finish at the prestigious year-end Macau Grand Prix, and had wins in German F3 prior to moving up to the overall European championship.
Moving to Carlin’s team – which maintains a European presence to go along with its newly announced U.S. effort in Indy Lights – should provide him an even better place to showcase his potential on the world stage.
“Carlin is a fantastic team who excel in every series they compete in,” Menezes said in a release. “The list of drivers they have run reads like the who’s who of motor racing and I look forward to working with the guys and doing everything I can to get some good results next season.
“Like all young American drivers I would love to be involved in F1, DTM, IndyCar or Sports cars – any of them would be a dream come true. That said, the only way I am going to get there is to win races. I have a great team in Carlin and I will be pushing as hard as I can to do that.”
Definitely note the name now. For 2015 it seems, given the financial straits endured for Caterham and Marussia that temporarily plagued Alexander Rossi’s F1 hopes, and given Conor Daly’s desire to race a full season in the Verizon IndyCar Series after a challenging GP2 Series season with Lazarus, Menezes is a rare American with a decent team and shot to impress on an international level.