Charles Pic will lead Tech 1 Racing's attempts to score a third consecutive World Series by Renault title in 2009 after re-signing with the team.
Following success in Formula Renault, Pic made his World Series debut with the French outfit in 2008, winning two races at Monaco and Le Mans to end the year as the highest placed rookie in the standings.
Already member of the Renault Driver Development programme, the 18-year-old has been retained by Tech 1 for 2009 and moves up to the role of team leader following Julien Jousse's decision to switch to Formula 2.
For team manager Simon Abadie, it was always their intention to re-sign Pic, particularly as he will enter the season as one of the big title favourites.
“Charles learned a lot last season. His two wins in Monaco and at Le Mans as well as his approach to racing and his way of working have opened the doors to the Renault Driver Development programme. It's a great opportunity for him and he knows he has to deliver. I hope that what we put in place with Charles last year will pay off this season.
“He knows the little things he's got to improve and where he still has to progress, and the drivers' title is well within his grasp. It's our job to give him the best car possible. It's going to be a challenging season with the teams' and drivers' titles in our sights.”
Pic's team-mate, meanwhile, it yet to be announced, although Tech 1 have run a myriad of different drivers over the winter, including Alexandre Marsoin, Rodolfo Gonzalez and Nelson Panciatici. However, Abadie insists they will need to be consistent in order to fulfil their objective of a third team title.
“We're looking at the best options. We hope to enter a driver alongside Charles who's as quick and as good at scoring points for the team. To rack up good results in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, more than in any other, you have to be consistent, capable of finding the right set-up straight away for each circuit and not make mistakes.
“Again this year there will be another very evenly-matched field, and several drivers will be battling for the title. As we saw in 2008 it's crucial to get off to a good start: you have be 100% right from the word go!”