The World Series by Renault meeting at the iconic Silverstone circuit proved the perfect location for Renault Sport Technologies to unveil their brand new Formula Renault 3.5 car, which will make its competitive debut in 2012. Teams and drivers were introduced to the new single seater on Saturday, before the British public caught their first glimpse of the car on Sunday when it was demonstrated on track by Romain Grosjean.
The Formula Renault 3.5 was first launched in 2005 as part of the World Series by Renault, receiving several modifcations overs the years. The newest version of the single seater, developed by Renault Sport Technologies and its various technical partners, promises to take the series to a whole new level, the car more powerful than its predecessor, while boasting a number of cutting-edge features.
The new car's two main innovative features are its Drag Reduction System (DRS), like the one used in Formula One, and the absence of a battery and starter. The new Dallara chassis is an evolution of the current frame, featuring different front and rear wings and cockpit. Overall, around seventy per cent of the new car's parts are brand news, including a new Zytek Engineering-developed V8 530bhp engine, a new gearbox, pneumatic clutch and state-of-the-art electronic system.
The new car went through its development phase in June, July and August, and was tested on several European circuits by a host of drivers, including Grosjean and Andy Soucek. Renault Sport Technologies and its technical partners are now moving into the production phase, with a view to making their first deliveries in January 2012, ahead of the first collective tests of the 2012 season in March.
The Formula Renault 3.5 Series has been a real springboard to Formula One over the years, with Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel and Jaime Alguersauri amongst those to come through the series. The new car is hoped to the make the transition up to F1 even smoother than before.