The 2016 calendar for the Formula Renault 3.5 Series is set to include six Formula 1 circuits as the category moves away from the French manufacturer’s own events.
With Renault withdrawing from the operation of the series, the to-be-renamed FR3.5 will have its own schedule next year, separate from the World Series by Renault tour that it has headlined since 2005.
Jaime Alguersuari Sr, whose RPM Racing company next year takes full control of a series that can be traced back to a category he established 1998, confirmed he will work with other promoters to create race weekends.
“In 2016, it will be necessary to join other promoters,” he told the media at Silverstone last weekend.
“My confirmation today is six races in Formula 1 tracks, and three options in other circuits.”
This year’s FR3.5 calendar features five circuits that have hosted F1 this year – Monaco, Spa-Francorchamps, Hungaroring, Spielberg and Silverstone – as well as four others (Aragon, Nurburgring, Le Mans and Jerez).
Another current F1 venue Monza appeared on the FR3.5 calendar in five out of eight seasons from 2007 to 2014, always joining another event (such as European Le Mans Series, World Touring Car Championship or Blancpain GT) rather than being with WSR categories, while Barcelona was present from 2006 to 2013.
Renault Sport last weekend announced that it will take Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 to the Monaco Grand Prix.
Alguersuari said he had been approached by promoters of other series who want FR3.5 to be part of their race weekends next year.
“One of the things that made me happy is when other promoters knew that Renault was going to stop as organiser, they called me, because they believe that having the 3.5 series in a racing weekend gives value to the racing weekend,” he said.
New teams on waiting list
RPM said there is a waiting list of teams that would like to join the reworked series, with priority going to those currently taking part.
The existing teams were said to have shown strong support for the plans to continue next year during their meetings with series chiefs.
Alguersuari said the list of teams for 2016 would be revealed “probably before Le Mans” at the end of September.
The series is aiming for a minimum of 18 cars and a maximum of 24. 20 cars have contested the majority of rounds this season.