Renault secures Formula Renault 3.5 future
|By Glenn Freeman||Monday, July 14th 2014, 15:47 GMT|
Renault has given its long-term support to its 'World Series' racing package, securing the future of its headlining Formula Renault 3.5 category for multiple years.
The French manufacturer recently undertook a review of its motorsport projects, and declining grid numbers in FR3.5 for this season prompted speculation that the championship's future was in doubt.
But Renault has signed contracts with several key partners in recent weeks, with the shortest of those deals being for a minimum of three years, running from 2015 to the end of 2017.
Renault Sport president Patrice Ratti told AUTOSPORT: "There is no doubt in Renault about the future of the World Series.
"I've heard rumours that we were thinking of stopping Formula Renault 3.5 or the whole package. I don't know where it comes from.
"We had a meeting with the executive committee of Renault about motorsport strategy, and World Series really is one of the central pieces.
"The deals with suppliers are all three-year contracts. That is the normal time.
"We are probably going to sign for a longer amount with some partners."
AUTOSPORT understands that many of the three-year deals include options to extend the agreements beyond 2017 as well.
Renault has also revealed its latest cost-cutting plans to boost the health of the FR3.5 grid, which were agreed upon in conjunction with the teams.
The measures, aimed at trimming between 10-15 per cent from the current budgets, include extending the life of the current car to a fifth season in 2016, and increasing the reliability and lifespan of several parts on the cars.
Particular areas that have been targeted include the gearbox, electrics and air compressors on the cars, all of which have proved troublesome since the latest generation was introduced for 2012.
Some of the changes for reliability purposes will be introduced from the next round at the Hungaroring on September 13-14.