A new season dawns for the French F4 Championship, with a brand new Formula Renault Signatech 1.6L car and a prize fund of €100,000 up for grabs for the winner of the series.
To add onto that, the winner will also be integrated into the Renault Sport Academy, with the aim of getting them up the racing ladder towards Formula 1. As a result, this season has seen a number of international drivers take up the reigns, with seven of the sixteen drivers from across the border.
The most notable of the local talent though will be WSK European Karting Champion Victor Martins. The Frenchman was the first driver to be announced and with such a pedigree behind him will be under pressure to perform. Especially after his one-off appearance last season saw him collect two podiums.
He will not be the only returning driver though, as race winners Pierre-Alexandre Jean, Arthur Rougier and Marvin Klein all announce their return for another shot at the title.
Jean had been a front-runner last season before dropping back in the final two rounds, while Rougier surprised many with an exceptional double podium in the final round, winning the season finale. Klein meanwhile had a poor year, but shocked many with a one-off win at Le Mans.
Also returning will be Jean-Babtiste Mela and Dane Casper Roes, as well as the highest place returning compatriot; Hugo Chevalier, who recorded five podiums on his way to fifth place.
Elsewhere, a number of French karting graduates make the step up, with Charles Milesi joined by Florian Venturi and Thomas Drouet.
Belgium has not featured since 2014, but this season will see two graduates step up in the form of Amaury Cordeel and the series youngest driver Ugo de Wilde, who turned 14 just 5 months ago.
The non-Europeans have three representatives this year with Mexican Javier Gonzalez, Colombian Christian Muñoz and Stuart White of South Africa.
Last, but certainly not least will be Aldo Festante. While the Italian is also making the step up from karting, he’s already got race experience under his belt having competed in the Italian F4 Championship last year, as well as the opening round of this.
2017 will also be remembered as the year that French F4 went international. While last season featured one round at the Circuit de Catalunya, this year, three rounds of the seven will be on foreign soil. Extra rounds have been commissioned at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza as well as Spa-Francorchamps.
The year will start at Nogaro, before their trip to Italy and quickly followed by the annual trip to Circuit de Pau towards the end of May. They join the Euro Race at Spa, before rejoining the FFSA GT support package for Magny-Cours, Catalunya and Circuit Paul Ricard at the end of the year.
A four race format, used last year, has been dropped, reverting back to the traditional three race schedule over the course of the season. Free practice will last for 30 minutes, while drivers have 25 minutes during qualifying to set the best time.
The FFSA races will continue to be 20 minutes in length, plus one lap, ensuring each driver gets around two hours of track time during the weekend.
Schedule for the weekend can be found here.