The rebranded Formula V8 3.5 Championship has been officially launched as it prepares for its first season without backing from Renault Sport.

The series, which has provided a rung on the motorsport ladder for the likes of current F1 drivers Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Pastor Maldonado and Carlos Sainz in recent seasons, will morph into a series independent of manufacturer backing in 2016 after Renault withdrew its association to focus on its '2.0' series.

Despite this, promoters RPM have assumed control, originally branding it as Formula 3.5 V8, though with a launch of a new website today ahead of the season, it will now be known as Formula V8 or Formula V8 3.5.

Though it would lose long-time entrants DAMS and Draco in the shuffle, the FV8 grid is set to offer an expanded driver line-up in 2016, with Teo Martin Motorsport, Spirit of Race and RP Motorsport pledging their commitment alongside existing teams Arden, Carlin, AVF, Comtec, Fortec, Lotus, Pons Racing, Strakka and Tech 1.

As it stands, six drivers have been confirmed for the season - which kicks off at Motorland Aragon on 16/17 April -, with race winners Egor Orudzhev and Matthieu Vaxiviere confirmed with Arden and Spirit of Race respectively, while Tom Dillmann and Alfonso Celis Jr drives for AVF, Louis Deletraz joins Fortec and Vladimir Atoev in the second Spirit of Race seat.



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