Home News Aitken and Russell among drivers for first Formula 3.5 V8 test

Aitken and Russell among drivers for first Formula 3.5 V8 test

by Peter Allen
Formula 3.5 V8

Photo: Alvaro Rivero/DPPI

Frontrunners from GP3, Formula 3 and Formula Renault 2.0 will be in action in the first test of the rebranded Formula 3.5 V8 series at Jerez on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Newly-crowned Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion Jack Aitken will test for Formula Renault 3.5 champions Fortec on Tuesday and then switch to Arden on Wednesday.

Eurocup runner-up Louis Deletraz – who made a one-off 3.5 debut at Spielberg earlier this year – will test for Fortec on both days.

Aitken’s place with the team on Wednesday will be taken by Gustav Malja, who finished ninth in the 2015 standings for Strakka, with which he will drive on Tuesday.

Strakka will run another FR2.0 contender Jake Hughes on both days. The Briton made his debut in the car with the team at the corresponding test 12 months ago.

Taking over from Malja at Strakka will be FIA Formula 3 European Championship race winner George Russell, whose first day in the 3.5-litre car will come with Tech 1 Racing, the squad with which he took a Eurocup victory as a guest one year ago.

Tech 1 will run 2015 regular Aurelien Panis on both days, with a second driver yet for Wednesday yet to be confirmed.

Two-time winner Egor Orudzhev will stick with Arden for both days, with FR2.0 graduate Kevin Jorg in the sister car on Tuesday before Aitken takes over.

Jorg will switch to the Lotus-branded Charouz squad for Wednesday. The team that ran Matthieu Vaxiviere to second place this year has only nominated one driver for each day so far, with ex-Auto GP and current Renault Sport Trophy racer Richard Gonda with the team on Tuesday.

Vaxiviere will be the one driver testing with the new Spirit of Race squad, which has taken over from Draco.

Orudzhev is one of four drivers backed by SMP Racing that will be in action. Two of them will be at Carlin: Nikita Zlobin, who contested the last two rounds of the season for Pons, and 16-year-old Vladimir Atoev, who finished second in SMP Formula 4.

FR2.0 race-winner Matevos Isaakyan takes over from Zlobin at Pons, alongside the team’s recent recruit Yu Kanamaru.

Alfonso Celis is set to remain in the series with AVF next year and tests alongside his ART GP3 team-mate Marvin Kirchhofer.

Kirchhofer did a day’s running in the car at Aragon last year for Comtec Racing, and the British squad will be returning to action at the rest after its only race appearance of 2015 was running Deletraz at Spielberg.

Comtec will run two Indian youngsters: recently-turned 17-year-old Force India protege Jehan Daruvalawho topped the FR2.0 test at Jerez on Monday – and 16-year-old European F3 tail-ender Mahaveer Raghunathan.

Teo Martin Motorsport, which announced a deal to take over from DAMS in the series on Monday, is not yet expected to feature in the test.

Testing line-up
Team Car Tuesday Wedneday
Fortec Motorsports 3 Jack Aitken Gustav Malja
4 Louis Deletraz Louis Deletraz
Arden Motorsport 5 Kevin Jorg Jack Aitken
6 Egor Orudzhev Egor Orudzhev
Lotus 9 TBC Kevin Jorg
10 Richard Gonda TBC
Strakka Racing 11 Jake Hughes Jake Hughes
12 Gustav Malja George Russell
AVF 15 Alfonso Celis Alfonso Celis
16 Marvin Kirchhofer Marvin Kirchhofer
Tech 1 Racing 17 George Russell TBC
18 Aurelien Panis Aurelien Panis
Spirit of Race 19 Matthieu Vaxiviere Matthieu Vaxiviere
Comtec Racing 21 Jehan Daruvala Jehan Daruvala
22 Mahaveer Raghunathan Mahaveer Raghunathan
Carlin 25 Vladimir Atoev Vladimir Atoev
26 Nikita Zlobin Nikita Zlobin
Pons Racing 39 Yu Kanamaru Yu Kanamaru
40 Matevos Isaakyan Matevos Isaakyan