The World Series Formula V8 3.5 championship, formerly known as Formula Renault 3.5, has been scrapped for 2018 due to a lack of interest to enter from drivers and teams.
After starting life as World Series by Nissan, Formula Renault 3.5 established itself as a rival to GP2 as Formula 1’s premier feeder championship, acting as a stepping stone in the careers of drivers such as Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz Jr.
Renault withdrew its factory support at the end of the 2015 season, but the series continued under new management through 2016 with the Formula V8 3.5 moniker.
Only 13 different drivers have raced in the championship this year, with a 10-car grid set for the season finale in Bahrain on Saturday where it supports the FIA World Endurance Championship.
In a statement issued by the series on Friday, it was confirmed that the championship would not be going ahead next year.
“The continuous and alarming drop in the number of driver entries in the main European single-seater series has forced World Series Formula V8 3.5 to withdraw from the 2018 season racing calendar,” the statement reads.
“However, and according to the figures achieved so far, we at RPM-MKTG are very proud of being the promoters of the most successful single-seater series in the last 20 years.
“Starting with the brand-new Formula Nissan in 1998, our commitment and goals went much bigger as Formula Renault 3.5 Series was created in 2005.
“As a result, 25 drivers have reached the pinnacle of motorsport – that is, Formula 1 – in this era. Stars such as Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo are some of them.
“This huge success has been achieved thanks to the emotional spirit of a single concept: ‘the power of dreams’.
“Since 1998 we have shared our dreams with hundreds of friends, team owners, engineers, mechanics, racing drivers and, above all, with the drivers’ relatives. They have made the careers of all those young talents possible by means of their unlimited sacrifice.
“RPM’s original idea was helping parents and relatives build driver careers by providing the best possible single-seater at the lowest cost.
“In the recent years no other series nor championship in any continent has been able to match the unbeatable cost/performance ratio of World Series Formula V8 3.5.
“Unfortunately, neither World Series Formula V8 3.5 nor any other top single-seater series in the world have reached the ideal number of participating drivers in 2017.
“Nevertheless, RPM-MKTG wants to announce that will keep track of evolution of all European-based single-seater series, their associated costs and participation figures.
“Should teams, drivers and sponsors scenarios change in the near future, a World Series Formula V8 3.5 comeback is not to be dismissed.”