The World Series by Renault, formerly the World Series by Nissan from 1998 to 2004, is a motor racing series. The series consists of the flagship Formula Renault 3.5 Series (often referred to as simply World Series by Renault or indeed simply WSR), the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and the Renault Sport Trophy. The F4 Eurocup 1.6 was made part of the World Series in 2010, but was then dropped for 2011. The Formula Renault 3.5 will cease to be part of the World Series by Renault package from 2016 onwards.
The series came out of the Spanish Formula Renault Championship, which ran from 1991 to 1997. The World Series was founded as Open Fortuna by Nissan in 1998, and was mostly based in Spain, but visited other countries throughout its history, including France, Italy, Portugal and Brazil. The organization was handled by RPM Comunicacion. The series changed name a number of times, usually adopting the name of its main sponsor, but was also known by other common names such as the unofficial "Formula Nissan".
In its early years, the series used chassis built by Coloni, with a 2.0 L Nissan SR20 engine. The series slotted in between Formula 3 and Formula 3000. In 2002, it adopted a new format, with chassis supplied by Dallara and the engine upgraded to the VQ30. The series also became more international, with more than half of the race calendar held outside Spain.
Renault started the Formula Renault V6 Eurocup in 2003, as a support series in Eurosport's Super Racing Weekends (ETCC and FIA GT Championship). The series ran with Tatuus chassis and a Nissan 3.5 L V6 engine.
In 2005, Renault left the Super Racing Weekend and started the World Series by Renault and the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, merging both the World Series by Nissan (whose engine contract had finished) and Renault V6 Eurocup. The Dallara chassis was retained, while the Renault V6 was improved to 425 PS. Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and the Eurocup Mégane Trophy also joined the series in 2005 to support the main FR3.5 series.
At the end of July 2015, Renault Sport announced it would be withdrawing its backing to the Formula Renault 3.5 from 2016 onwards, handing the control of the series to co-organiser RPM. However, Renault Sport also said it would continue the World Series by Renault with the Renault Sport Trophy and the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup.
From 2008-2010, the chassis for the Formula Renault 3.5 Series is a Dallara built carbon fibre monocoque and the engine a 3.5 litre V6 Nissan VQ35 unit producing 480 bhp with a rev limit of 9500rpm. The gearbox is a 6 speed semi-automatic supplied by Ricardo with steering wheel paddle shift. Total weight of the car is 600 kg (dry).
Starting from 2012 season, the Formula Renault 3.5 Series cars are powered by 3.4 litre V8 producing 530 BHP at 9250 rpm developed by Zytek. The cars have 50 more horsepower than previous season and lost 15 kg (33 pounds) of weight. In addition, a Drag Reduction System is used, which operates in a similar way to the one in use in Formula One.
Karun Chandhok (2005: 29th) has competed in Formula One for HRT and Team Lotus.
Pastor Maldonado (2005: 25th; 2006: 3rd) has competed in Formula One for Williams, currently competing for Lotus.
Sebastian Vettel (2006: 15th, 2007: 5th − 1st after seven races, when withdrew to compete in F1) has competed in Formula One for BMW, Scuderia Toro Rosso and was four time Formula One world champion with Red Bull, currently competing for Ferrari.
Giedo van der Garde (2007: 6th, 2008: Champion) GP2 Series winner competing in Formula One for Caterham. Now currently reserve driver for Sauber.
World Series by Renault races are broadcast live as part of a package of the combined open-wheel and touring car races on the pan-European Eurosport subscription channel or its sister stations Eurosport2 and British Eurosport. Eurosport is also on-sold to several non-European networks, extending World Series by Renault's international reach as far as South East Asia and Oceania. The races are also carried live by Estonia channel Kanal 12 and Spain channel Aragon TV. Abbreviated highlights packages are additionally carried by several other television networks and stations, including the British channels Sky Sports and MotorsTV, the Dutch RTL 7 channel, ESPN Star Sports in Asia, Speed in South America and Esporte Interativo in Brazil.