International Draco Racing
#1 Nathanael Berthon (F)
2009: 6th in Formula Renault Eurocup, 3rd in Formula Renault West European Cup
Berthon assumes outgoing champion Bertrand Baguette's vacated seat, having turned down GP3 overtures from ART to do so. A front runner, if not standout, in Formula Renault 2.0 last year, he has exceeded expectations by setting a number of fastest times in testing.
After the confines of his Tatuus 2.0 car, the rangy Romagnat driver has expressed satisfaction with the spacious FR3.5 Dallara cockpit. Berthon will divide time between racing activities in Italy and a business studies course in France.
#2 (Omar) Julian Leal (CL)
2009: 20th in Formula Renault 3.5
The Colombian teenager switches to a coveted seat at Draco following a trying rookie season with Prema Powerteam.
Draco's owners, Adriano and Nadia Morini, indicate that Leal has displayed signs of improvement in testing, but his immediate prospects remain steady points finishes rather than any victories. A parallel programme with Trident in Auto GP may assist the former Italian F3000 champion's development.
#3 Mikhail Aleshin (RU)
2009: 3rd in Formula 2
Following a race-winning Formula 2 campaign, Aleshin returns to settle unfinished business in Formula Renault 3.5.
Proved fast but inconsistent in his previous forays with Carlin in 2006 and '07, however the Russian's former team manager/engineer Harvey Spencer has long since departed the helm and Aleshin is now without the support of long time backers Red Bull and Lukoil.
#4 Jake Rozenzweig (US)
2009: 18th in F3 Euro Series, GP2 Asia
A London-born American with Wiltshire roots, Rosenzweig is preparing to enter just his third season of car racing.
A premature dalliance with GP2 Asia aside, has displayed solid midfield form to date.
#5 Walter Grubmuller (A)
2009: 2nd in British F3
Went a long way to shaking off the rich kid tag by breaking into the winner's circle in British F3 last year. Although running close to the minimum weight limit, Grubmuller posted promising times in the final pre-season FR3.5 test at Aragon, and could spring a surprise.
#6 Jan Charouz (CZ)
2009: Le Mans Series, LMP1 champion, 4th in Le Mans 24 Hours
Returns to single-seaters after a successful three-year stint in sportscars. The 2006 F3000 Masters champion will bolster his FR3.5 season by running a parallel campaign in Auto GP, being joined at his family-owned team by new team-mate Grubmuller. Charouz has also secured a Renault F1 reserve driver role, the first fruits of which were a 20-lap shakedown in a 2009-spec R29 at Silverstone last month.
Tech 1 Racing
#7 Brendon Hartley (NZ)
2009: 11th in F3 Euro Series, 15th in FR3.5
Hartley continues his relationship with Tech 1 after a part-season of World Series in 2009 failed to unlock his potential.
The Kiwi was not helped by missing pre-season testing, and the considerable uncertainty surrounding his programme. Now with more orderly preparation, he starts as one of the favourites for this year's title.
#8 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS)
2009: British F3 champion
Will rotate Red Bull F1 reserve duties with team-mate Hartley at this year's grands prix. That Ricciardo missed the final collective test to attend his home race in Melbourne, having earlier lost mileage through a mountain bike injury, makes it difficult to gauge his acclimatisation to the series. A formidable career record points to a likely championship assault.
Lotus Racing Junior Team
#9 Daniil Move (RU)
2009: 10th in FR3.5
The well-mannered and good-humoured Russian embarks on a fourth season in the category, having arrived as a relative novice with Interwetten in 2007.
Move demonstrated a strong turn of speed in qualifying with P1 last year and will be aiming to achieve a similar step forward in race pace if he is to clinch a debut victory.
#10 Nelson Panciatici (F)
2009: GP2, Superleague
The former Renault Driver Development pilot and Spanish F3 runner-up staged an ambitious, and ultimately fallow, leap into GP2 with Durango last year. The Fenchman's fastest time with Junior Lotus, nee Mofaz, in Barcelona collective testing suggests his retreat into FR3.5 may prove an adroit move.
#11 Federico Leo (I)
2009: 21st in FR3.5
After an anonymous 2009, Leo's pace in testing has surprised. The continuity of remaining with Pons may offer some explanation to the Italian's greatly improved form.
Yet to register a win in his car racing career, Leo is playing catch-up after missing out on a karting background.
#12 Daniel Zampieri (I)
2009: Italian F3 champion, GP2 Asia
Zampieri came to prominence through winning last year's revitalised Italian F3 championship and impressed in the prize Ferrari F1 test at Jerez.
The performance was sufficient to earn him a place in Ferrari's nascent Driver Academy and after exhibiting immense bravery in close season FR3.5 testing with Comtec, has been placed at Pons Racing.
#15 Albert Costa (E)
2009: Formula Renault Eurocup champion, FRenault 2.0 West European Cup
Reigning Eurocup champion Costa's preparations have been disrupted by a prolonged hand injury sustained in a Barcelona testing shunt. Ruled out of subsequent tests at Jerez and Motorland, the cheery Catalan has had to endure watching former Renault 2.0 contemporaries Jean-Eric Vergne and Nathanael Berthon soak up the plaudits.
He should eventually be among the top rookies; team boss Joan Villadelpraat rates Costa as highly as former driver Robert Kubica.
#16 Keisuke Kunimoto (J)
2009: 13th in Formula Nippon, FR3.5
Prompted by frustration over the lack of testing in Formula Nippon and the loss of Toyota support, Kunimoto struck out on his own with a four-race deal in FR3.5 at the conclusion of 2009.
The former Macau GP winner was reportedly a little on the timid side on his arrival at Epsilon Euskadi, but since moving to the Basque region has come out of his shell.
#17 Greg Mansell (GB)
2009: 26th in FR£.5
The withdrawal of Greg's Ultimate Motorsport team last year due to financial constraints hindered an, at times, promising rookie season. It will be fascinating to view Mansell's progress in 2010, as for the first time he remains in a category for a second term.
A stamina-testing dual campaign in the Le Mans Series is also planned, where he will share the wheel of an LMP1 Ginetta with father Nigel and older brother Leo.
#18 Stefano Coletti (MON)
2009: 10th in F3 Euro Series, GP2
The former European Junior karting champion started last season's fiercely competitive F3 Euro Series in race winning form and exhibited his feisty side by engaging in a spate of fisticuffs with eventual champion Jules Bianchi.
A heavy GP2 crash at Spa-Francorchamps contributed to fading results over the second half of the year, but with Mansell forms one of the stronger line-ups.
#23 Sten Pentus (ES)
2009: 16th in FR3.5
The former Formula Renault 2.0 midfielder surprised on his debut with Mofaz Fortec last year, finishing on the podium in Barcelona courtesy of a mature drive in foul conditions.
He did little of note thereafter, but against expectations the Estonian has set some outright fastest times in pre-season testing. Pentus has kept sharp over the close season by racing in New Zealand.
#23 Jon Lancaster (GB)
2009: 13th in FR3.5
A rocketship career in karting and Formula Renault 2.0 appeared in danger of fading after a difficult season in F3 with series kingpins ART and subsequent off-track financial disputes.
He pieced together a limited FR3.5 programme with Comtec last year and was a permanent fixture at the sharp end. Lancaster should add to his tally of victories.
#25 Esteban Guerrieri (ARG)
2009: 6th in Superleague, FR3.5
A late addition to the entry, Guerrieri has missed all pre-season testing. The classy Argentinean had a disjointed 2009, without a seat at the turn of the year. The former FR3.5 race winner resurfaced in Superleague, netting two victories.
2009: 29th in FR3.5
Having participated in 13 races with RC Motorsport last year, the Czech returns to his family team which purchased the Italian outfit's Formula Renault 3.5 equipment over the winter.
As one of the more experienced drivers in the field, Salaquarda is clearly competent but has yet to trouble the podium with any regular frequency.
#27 Anton Nebylitskiy (RU)
2009: 27th in FR3.5
The young Russian received a wake-up call when rookie team-mate Victor Garcia arrived in 'his' team and demonstrated an immediate edge in testing.
Suitably spurred on, Nebylitskiy knows he must deliver more if he is to maintain the support from his generous Russian sponsors who have, in the space of 12 months, bankrolled drives at Comtec, underwritten SG Formula's entry into the series and set up a new team for Nebylitskiy's advisor Bruno Besson from the ashes of Ultimate Motorsport.
#28 Victor Garcia (E)
2009: 14th in British F3
Opted to return home to Madrid in order to get his head straight after an out of sorts season in British F3.
Team and driver admit that, on the evidence of testing, the move into FR3.5 is going well, but Garcia may find breaking out of midfield a tough proposition.
#29 Bruno Mendez (E)
2009: European F3 Open champion, FR3.5
The reigning European Open Formula 3 champion is backed by European basketball promoters Meta, who have an involvement with the HRT F1 team. Mendez competed with RC Motorsport in two FR3.5 races last year.
#30 Sergio Canamasas (E)
2009: 6th in European F3 Open
The Madrid driver will know team-mate Mendez from his European F3 Open exploits last year. Canamasas was towards the bottom of the timesheets in testing at Aragon with SG Formula, and previously sampled ISR's and Fortec machinery with no greater effect.
To continue reading this feature, join Autosport Plus today.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
- Your Autosport Plus membership includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from a monthly or yearly membership.