Following a couple of successful seasons since its introduction - and a week after F1 rival Toyota introduced its five-man line-up - Renault has unveiled the group of drivers that will run under its development banner in 2004.

Joining Heikki Kovalainen and Jose-Maria Lopez, who have been retained in the programme after successful 2003 campaigns in FNissan and FRenault V6 respectively, will be J?r?me d'Ambrosio, Lucas di Grassi, Lo?c Duval and Giedo van der Garde. Kovalainen and Lopez, entering their third and second seasons in the programme respectively, also impressed during their maiden Formula One tests with Renault and Minardi last December, and will be looking to step up to the top flight next year.

The new recruits, meanwhile, will all be expected to meet the same exacting standards as their senior partner on the programme, which demands not only excellence of performance on track, but also high standards off it - from physical training through to public relations.

They got their first taste of the programme at the team's Human Performance Centre at its Enstone base this week, when they were put through their paces in physical evaluations designed to establish their training regime for the year ahead.

With the exception of d'Ambrosio, who will race in the French and European FRenault 2000 series, each of the RDD newcomers will compete in Formula Three this coming year. While Brazilian di Grassi has opted for the UK series with Korean Superprix winners Hitech Racing, both Duval and van der Garde have signed up for a year in the equally competitive Euroseries with French team Signature.

Kovalainen is expected to continue in the World Series by Nissan, having finished as runner-up to champion team-mate - and now Renault F1 test driver - Franck Montagny in his debut season, while Lopez, having won the FRenault V6 title, looks likely to seek a ride in the FIA F3000,series. Neither driver has yet confirmed a team.