Formula 3.5 gets name change, launches website

© Renault Sport

The series formerly known as Formula Renault 3.5 has been given a slight name change with the launch of a new website ahead of its first year without manufacturer backing.

Renault confirmed last year that it would be withdrawing its backing of the series after ten years, handing promotion and organizational duties over to RPM Racing.

The series was planned to be called ‘Formula 3.5 V8’, but following the launch of its new website on Tuesday, it is now being branded as ‘Formula V8 3.5’ – which probably will become shortened by most to Formula V8.

Formula V8 3.5 currently has six drivers signed up for its inaugural season. 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 runner-up Matthieu Vaxiviere will continue in the series with Spirit of Race alongside Russian youngster Vladimir Atoev.

Egor Orudzhev (Arden), Louis Deletraz (Fortec), Alfonso Celis Jr. and Tom Dillmann (both AVF) will all continue in the championship in 2016.

Formula Renault 3.5 established itself as one of the leading feeder series for Formula 1 during its ten-year run, producing drivers such as Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Although the loss of Renault’s backing has raised concerns about the future of the 3.5 litre series, the field is poised to remain full of young talents battling to forge a path towards F1.

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,

SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.