British driver Will Bratt will make a shock return to racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series this weekend at Silverstone as he replaces Roberto Merhi at Pons Racing whilst the Spaniard continues his Formula 1 commitments with the Manor F1 Team.
Bratt has not raced in single seaters since ending his Formula 2 campaign due to financial issues mid-way through the 2011 season, and has not competed in any racing since 2013 when he raced for Rob Austin’s team in the British Touring Car Championship.
“It’s a huge surprise to be racing in Formula Renault 3.5 this weekend at Silverstone, but a very pleasant one, and a really fantastic opportunity to be back racing at such a high level, too,” said Bratt.
“It’s going to be a big leap back in at the deep end, as I haven’t even climbed into the cockpit of a single-seater since F2 in 2011, but I’ll be giving it 100 per cent as I always do.
“When [team boss] Sito [Pons] offered us the chance to stand-in for Roberto, we jumped at it, especially with the races being at Silverstone. The championship is as competitive as it’s ever been, so it’s not going to be easy.
“But I know the guys at Pons will give me a great car, and if we can make progress across the weekend I’ll be very happy.”
Bratt will partner Philo Paz Patric Armand, who returns to the team after missing the last event at the Red Bull Ring due to Visa issues, but the Indonesian driver is still a doubt for the remaining races of the season at the Nurburgring, Paul Ricard and Jerez.