Formula 3.5 V8

2015 Formula Renault 3.5 drivers and teams

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    The first driver market move for 2015 was somewhat predictable. McLaren development driver Nyck de Vries, fresh from his Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and ALPS title wins this year, will step up to Formula Renault 3.5 next season.

    He’ll drive for champions DAMS who took Carlos Sainz Jnr an Kevin Magnussen to the previous two titles.


    They’ll have to kick Alonso out at the end of 2015 to make way for him!
    So presumably Sainz is going…somewhere.

    Iestyn Davies

    @bullfrog Indeed, if Vandoorne (arguably already ready for F1) wins GP2 with DAMS, and de Vries wins FR3.5 with DAMS, what will McLaren do? They can’t really secure them drives elsewhere either, as when they tried that with Magnussen, Force India simply got a better deal with Perez instead, turning the tables on Whitmarsh and McLaren.

    In my opinion, they need a junior team – at this point, they could have Alonso/Button at McLaren, both WDCs, and run Magnussen/Vandoorne in the juniors, with de Vries then having time to settle in to faster cars like FR3.5 and GP2, before one of the juniors moves up to McLaren to replace Button, with Nyck aiming to eventually replace a retiring Alonso.

    But, he’ll have to beat RB junior Gasly, former McLaren junior Rowland and Sauber reserve Sirotkin first, and the other McLaren junior, Ben Barnicoat, who won FR2.0 NEC this year, may soon be in FR3.5 too, perhaps after a year in Eurocup. It looks like Sainz Jr will now move up to Toro Rosso – Wittmann’s testing time with Toro Rosso also reduces how much is available; but with Marko, you never know – it could also be Gasly or Lynn, with Sainz kicked out the door!

    R.J. O’Connell

    I would expect a promotion to FR3.5 for the following two drivers:

    – Esteban Ocon, has already driven for Comtec in small sample sizes this past season. A move up to FR3.5 seems likely, along with FP1 appearances in the major league. But will he still be a Lotus junior, or will Mercedes buy out his services as rumored?

    – Dennis Olsen, 2nd in Eurocup this past season, also a likely pick for Red Bull Junior Team in 2015.

    Also, I’m predicting a lateral move for Mitch Evans ala Jules Bianchi and Sam Bird.

    R.J. O’Connell

    Dean Stoneman should have raced in WSR back in 2011 as Daniel Ricciardo’s teammate. Today he’s testing for Arden, who have previously fielded entries for drivers such as Pierre Gasly and Antonio Felix da Costa.

    Craig Woollard

    Also, I’m predicting a lateral move for Mitch Evans ala Jules Bianchi and Sam Bird.

    Evans? If that’s the case he will be the first GP3 champion to jump to FR3.5.

    I wonder what Sorensen will do. This year he juggled FR3.5 with half a GP2 season and he’s delivered similar results in both., though his sprint results look better than his feature race results.

    Ocon to Lotus is a logical step, unless Mercedes poach him and he is off elsewhere. Blomqvist deserves some mightier machinery too given that he finished second.

    There’s a lot of GP3 drivers who have shown a lot of potential this year, notably with six Brits in the top 9 in the championship. I wonder whether any of those will be joining Stoneman in testing 3.5 cars…

    Iestyn Davies

    Sorensen should really try and stay in GP2. He has the chance I think to be a solid top-8 driver there, gaining good exposure, whereas he was disappointing in FR3.5 this year, as shown by the crash at Monza. If Evans and Marciello leave GP2, then the talent pool there will be reduced when compared to FR3.5, and Sorensen, Pic, Cecotto etc. could all win it.

    Ocon could have been poached by Mercedes, but they will probably have enough on their hands trying to juggle Merhi, Juncadella and Wehrlein, with the rest of their drivers (like experienced Di Resta) consigned to DTM. Blomqvist I think would go well in GP3, maybe Auer as well.

    It would be nice to see what Stoneman can do in FR3.5, 3 years on from his delayed debut. GP3 results once at Koiranen shows he still has it. Similarly, Stanaway got two podiums in two races, so could move up from GP3 to vanquish his FR3.5 demons. Perhaps Yelloly should move back up as well if possible.

    If Marko picks Sainz, does that mean Gasly and Olsen have two or three years to win FR3.5/GP2 and be ‘next in line’? Alex Albon isn’t going too badly now, if they need to flesh out their ranks again.. or they could run Lynn in FR3.5 as well for a ‘direct comparison’ of all their remaining junior drivers. I can see F3 drivers like Latifi and King stepping up as well.


    Olivier Panis’s son Aurelian will step up to Formula Renault 3.5 next year with Tech 1. The 20-year-old has had a fairly unspectacular career so far, spending the last three years in Formula Renault 2.0, but he took a breakthrough Eurocup win in Moscow this year.


    Visser will stay at AVF for a second season:


    Great to see Carlin have confirmed their return to the series.

    They’ll have the Jagonya Ayam backing familiar from European F3 last year. So it’s no surprise to see Sean Gelael making the step up from that category – his father Ricardo is a director of Fastfood Indonesia which runs KFC franchises (and uses the Jagonya Ayam slogan).

    The second car will be driven by ex-GP2 racer Tom Dillmann, who despite being a newcomer to this category has to be considered a potential title contender due to his experience.

    Iestyn Davies

    I’m happy to see Dillmann get another chance in FR3.5, however, I hope it is not at the expense of Tom Blomqvist – it would be mad for him to have gone from beating Max Verstappen in FIA F3, to out of a drive completely. At 21, FR3.5 would have been a perfect step up for him – while Dillmann has just raced 2 years of GP2 over the last 3 (due to financial pressure). Apart from that, an interesting line up so far.. lots of young talent and an ‘old hand’ to match up with in Dillmann, a reliable benchmark.


    Gustav Malja steps up from the 2.0 Eurocup with Strakka:


    I think Blomqvist will end up in DTM with BMW

    Iestyn Davies

    @billyos Yes, he has, and Latifi has been confirmed at Arden, alongside SMP-backed Orudzhev. Van Buuren is in at Lotus alongside Vaxiviere. Over half the seats are now confirmed! Yet only 4 in GP3..


    Now this is interesting – Nyck de Vries’ team mate at DAMS will be Red Bull’s new recruit Dean Stoneman, last year’s GP3 runner-up.

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