25-year-old Russian Mikhail Aleshin will continue racing in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2013, joining Tech 1 Racing, who previously announced his future partner Nigel Melker.
For Aleshin, 2013 will be the sixth full-time season in Formula Renault 3.5. After racing with Carlin in 2006-08 and achieving 12th twice and fifth in the overall standings, the Russian driver rejoined the team in 2010 and won the FR3.5 title.
The prestigious achievement did not allow Aleshin’s career to progress further, as the Russian (also having taken third in the now-defunct Formula Two in 2009) struggled to find a permanent race seat in 2011 (making several GP2 appearances with Carlin that yielded little success) before returning to the FR3.5 category in 2012 as part of the newly-formed Russian squad Team RFR.
Struggling with the new team, his car often plagued with mechanical faults, Aleshin finished 13th in the standings and only managed to get on the podium in the final race of the season (his then teammate Aaro Vainio achieving the same feat). Overall, in his previous five years on WSR, Aleshin achieved four wins and 15 podiums.
“I’m very happy to be cooperating with Tech 1,” said the Russian in regards to the announcement. “It’s no secret that this team is the best of the best, with four titles in the teams’ standings serving as a magnificent proof of that. Three years ago, when I took the WSR title, Tech 1 were our main competitors, but this year will see us working together in pursuit of the sole goal – winning, both in the drivers and in the teams competition”.
2012 saw Tech 1 Racing narrowly claim the teams’ championship in WSR, with Arden Caterham and Fortec Motorsports within ten points of their result. On the drivers’ front, the team helped Force India tester Jules Bianchi fight for the title (ultimately losing out to Fortec’s Robin Frijns), while their second driver, Kevin Korjus, left the team in the middle of the season by amidst allegations of preferential treatment of Bianchi and was replaced by Daniel Abt.