Aragon: Series preview

It's go go go! The World Series by Renault 2010 are set to kick off exactly where they left off at the close of season 2009, at Motorland Aragon. In reality, the busy off-season, punctuated by collective testing sessions, leaves us with few real...

It's go go go!

The World Series by Renault 2010 are set to kick off exactly where they left off at the close of season 2009, at Motorland Aragon. In reality, the busy off-season, punctuated by collective testing sessions, leaves us with few real pointers as to the likely pecking order in the new line-up. This means we are likely in for a fiercely contested season, where every point will count. Who will be the successor to Bertrand Baguette, 2009 champion in Formula Renault 3.5 Series? It's anybody's guess... In any event, there will be 24 drivers with ambitions on the title and determined to inch their way closer to F1.

Six months after the last race of the 2009 season, Formula Renault 3.5 Series is back at the Motorland Aragon circuit for the first event of 2010. Twelve teams were selected by the World Series by Renault organizing committee for this season. Teams include Draco Racing, Carlin, P1 Motorsport, Tech 1 Racing, Junior Lotus Racing, Pons Racing, Epsilon Euskadi, Comtec Racing, Fortec Motorsport, ISR and KMP Racing. SG Formula and Interwetten.com Racing -- managed by Motorsport Consulting GmbH -- were not selected, but a new team, FHV Interwetten.com -- managed by FHV GmbH -- makes its debut in Formula Renault 3.5 Series with Euro F3 Open champion Bruno Mendez and Spanish driver Sergio Canamasas.

This 2010 season's race format has been simplified slightly. Each race will be preceded by the corresponding qualifying session, making each day of racing independent from the other. Also, on the Saturday of each leg - except for Monaco where single race is scheduled - it is compulsory for the cars to be set up with a new "light" aero configuration. Competitors will use a smaller rear wing, with limited deflection angles fixed by the regulations. Skirts will also be outlawed. For Race 2, which will feature a compulsory pit stop with at least a change of one pair of tires, drivers will be able to choose their setup. This means the competitors will have to adapt their driving to different aero behaviour from one day to the next.

Not surprisingly, the "light" aero configuration was one of the chief focusses during winter testing in Barcelona, Jerez and Motorland Aragon. In the course of these collective testing days, the rookies made an impressive showing, starting with Nathanael Berthon (International Draco Racing) and Daniele Zampieri (Pons Racing), regularly up with the leading group in the rankings. P1 Motorsport drivers Walter Grubmuller and Jan Charouz, were always on the pace too, as were Nelson Panciatici (Junior Lotus Racing), Stefano Coletti (Comtec Racing), Jake Rosenzwaig (Carlin) and Victor Garcia (KMP Racing).

Injuries to their right hands blighted preparations, however, for both Daniel Ricciardo (Tech 1 Racing) and Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi). With the British F3 2009 champion and the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 2009 winner getting much less practice than their rivals, they will be looking to catch up for lost time. One thing is for sure -- the pre-season setback will only heighten their motivation!

The season is set to be more hotly contested than ever, and experience will be a great asset. Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin), back in the discipline, Brendon Hartley (Tech 1 Racing), Federico Leo (Pons Racing), Greg Mansell (Comtec Racing) and Sten Pentus (Fortec Motorsport) all proved that with impressive performances in collective testing. Julian Leal (international Draco Racing), Daniil Move (Junior Lotus Racing), Keisuke Kunimoto (Epsilon Euskadi), Jon Lancaster (Fortec Motorsport), Filip Salquarda (ISR) and Anton Nebylitskyi (KMP Racing) will also be in the running.

The list of title contenders is long indeed, and the eventual winner will need to combine performance and consistency all through the season. It's going to be vital of course to mark territory from the outset, so the outcome of this first round will be a much awaited first indication. See you trackside on Saturday April 17, with the first qualifying of the season at 9:45am and race 1 at 2pm, live on Eurosport.

-source: wsr

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Bertrand Baguette , Walter Grubmuller , Jan Charouz , Mikhail Aleshin , Stefano Coletti , Greg Mansell , Sten Pentus , Daniel Ricciardo , Albert Costa , Daniil Move , Keisuke Kunimoto , Jon Lancaster , Nathanael Berthon , Nelson Panciatici , Victor Garcia , Federico Leo , Julian Leal , Sergio Canamasas , Bruno Mendez
Teams Carlin