Now entering its seventh season, the Formula Renault 3.5 Series is to welcome two new teams into the fold in 2011. Twenty-six drivers are expected to attempt to emulate Mikhail Aleshin, the 2010 champion, and follow in the footsteps of Sebastian Vettel, Robert Kubica, Jaime Alguersuari and Pastor Maldonado, all now with seats in F1.
As proof of the stability of the flagship championship of the World Series by Renault, the eleven teams which took part in 2010 have all re-submitted entry requests to the Organizing Committee. They will be joined by two new outfits in 2011.
With the support of the Italian federation (CSAI), BVM Target is entering itself for the Formula Renault 3.5 Series with the aim of help Italian drivers to make their way into F1. The team has already taken part in initial tests at the end of last season placing its cars in the hands of Daniel Zampieri (9th in 2010) and Mirko Bortolotti.
Gravity - Charouz Racing is the second team to join the World Series by Renault paddock. Created in 1985, the Czech team has a proven track record both in rallying and on the track. After making a remarkable return to international single-seater racing last season, Charouz Racing is now to compete in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.
Winner of last year's team's title, Tech 1 Racing is putting its faith in two promising rookies: Kevin Korjus and Arthur Pic. The Estonian, winner of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 last season, is putting his 500,000 euro prize money to good use to aid him in his progress to the upper echelons of the sport. As for Arthur Pic, he follows in the footsteps of his elder brother Charles who drove for Tech 1 Racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series for two seasons taking four wins and finishing third in the overall standings in 2009.
Invited to take part in the F1 Young Drivers Tests at the end of the last season with the Red Bull Junior Team, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne are now back in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The Australian, the third Toro Rosso driver and runner-up in 2010, joins the Czech outfit ISR. He will team up with British driver Dean Stoneman, the reigning F2 champion.
The British F3 champion Jean-Eric Vergne contested the last three meetings of the 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 Series. In 2011, he will be joining the discipline on a full-time basis with Carlin Motorsport, the team that took Mikhail Aleshin to the title last year.
Another driver confirmed to take part is Anton Nebylitskiy, who will be looking to continue to make progress in the category in the colours of the KMP Racing team.
In terms of regulations, the Formula Renault 3.5 Series is sticking with the same format used in 2010 with one qualifying session and one race on each day of competition. The meeting in Monaco remains the only exception to the rule with a single race scheduled. The points scale has been changed to an FIA-type breakdown spread over the first 10 drivers as follows: 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1.
The thirteen teams selected (in alphabetical order)
BVM TARGET (ITA)
GRAVITY - CHAROUZ RACING (CZE)
COMTEC RACING (GBR)
EPSILON EUSKADI (ESP)
FORTEC MOTORSPORT (GBR)
INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING (ITA)
KMP RACING (RUS)
MOFAZ RACING (MAL)
P1 MOTORSPORT (NED)
PONS RACING (ESP)
TECH 1 RACING (FRA)
-source: renault sport