The Formula V8 3.5 championship, which many current F1 drivers competed in during their junior years, will close at the end of this season. Series organisers RPM blamed a lack of entries for 2018.
“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,” RPM announced.
Three future F1 drivers on the podium in 2013The number of drivers taking part has fallen sharply since Renault pulled its backing for the championship, which was previously called Formula Renault 3.5. Just ten are present for the championship’s final event in Bahrain this weekend.
“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,” they added. “As a result, 25 drivers have reached the pinnacle of motorsport – that is, Formula One – in this era.”
“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.”
The series is run by Jaime Alguersuari Snr, father of former F1 driver Jaime Alguersuari.
Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Carlos Sainz Jnr, Kevin Magnussen, Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne, Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley are among those who graduated from the championship.
Five drivers are in contention for the final Formula V8 3.5 title in Bahrain: Pietro Fittipaldi, Matevos Isaakyan, Alfonso Celis, Rene Binder and Roy Nissany. Egor Orudzhev, who is also mathematically in contention, is absent due to illness.