The powerful Formula Renault 3.5 sat between F3/GP3 and the GP2 Series in European motor racing's single-seater pyramid until its demise at the end of 2017. Its origins lay in the Spanish-based Formula Nissan 2.0 that had run from 1998 to 2001 and included 1999 champion Fernando Alonso as its most notable participant.
Nissan launched a new one-make series in 2002 with Dallara chassis and 3000cc V6 engines that had half of its races now held outside Spain. Parent company Renault also had a V6 championship at the time that supported the European Touring Car and FIA GT Championships. Renault decided to merge the two categories in 2005 with the renamed F.Renault 3.5 headlining its World Series by Renault race weekends for the next decade.
Supported by F.Renault 2.0 and the Megane Eurocup, each meeting included two F.Renault 3.5 races. The series adopted the popular format of "feature" race that also decided the grid for the secondary "sprint" event – the top ten finishers from Race One starting in reverse order. The relevance of the series was illustrated by direct graduation to Formula 1 by 2013 and 2014 champions Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz jr.
However, Renault withdrew its support at the end of 2015 with the category renamed as Formula V8 3.5 for the following season. It ran in this guise for two years before dwindling grids forced it to close.