AV FormulaArthur Pic and Yann Cunha will fly the flag for AV Formula during their debut Formula Renault 3.5 season in 2013 after an agreement was signed today (December 3) at the team’s Montmelo headquarters.

21-year-old Pic was Formul’Academy Euro Series champion in 2008 and subsequently spent two successful years competing in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, finishing third in the standings in 2010.

The Frenchman stepped up to the ultra-competitive Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2011 and finished eighth this season after a breakthrough campaign that included a maiden win at Moscow Raceway as well as a further podium at Motorland Aragon and a brace of pole positions.

Cunha meanwhile won the prestigious Granja Viana 500 Miles kart race in his native Brazil in 2010, beating Formula 1 drivers past and present – including Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa and Christian Fittipaldi – to claim victory. During the same season he was runner-up in the South American Formula 3 championship before switching to the prestigious British category in 2011. This year saw him make his Formula Renault 3.5 debut, providing the 21-year-old with excellent groundwork for his switch to AV Formula.

Arthur Pic, AV Formula driver: “I’m thrilled to have signed with AV Formula for the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 season and am already eager to resume testing with the team.

“It’s great to have my plans for next year in place before Christmas and to be able to work with the excellent technical team that Adrian Valles has assembled.

“In particular, the opportunity to join Philippe Gautheron was simply too good to pass up. He is one of the top engineers outside Formula 1 and his results in GP2 speak for themself. What’s more, having worked with my brother Charles during 2011 I know that he is a great guy both professionally and away from the circuit. Adrian meanwhile has an outstanding record in single-seater racing, not least with his Superleague Formula title and his runner-up finish in Formula Renault 3.5, and is now translating that success into team management.”

Yann Cunha, AV Formula driver: “Following several post-season outings with AV Formula I felt that we shared the same approach to racing. I was able to make great progress and we demonstrated this during the final collective test at Motorland Aragon.

“With a deal now in place I am going to work extremely hard over the winter in order to achieve great results with the team in 2013. Our objective is to be competitive from the first race at Monza.

“I would like to thank AV Formula for placing their trust in me. It will be a pleasure to work with great professionals like Adrian Valles and Philippe Gautheron.”

Adrian Valles, AV Formula Owner and Team Principal: “After several months of hard work assembling the new team we are pleased to be able to announce our drivers before Christmas. This allows us to begin working with our technical crew immediately while also spending time on the simulator that we are developing at our Montmelo facility.

“It is a pleasure to have Yann and Arthur on board for the 2013 season and we believe that both will do a great job for the team. The objective for Yann is to score points from the word go while learning as much as possible from his more experienced team-mate. Meanwhile, Arthur’s two seasons in the series mean that 2013 will be an important year for him. Our technical director Philippe Gautheron has a great relationship with him after working with his brother Charles, who currently races in Formula 1. It is a real plus that they get on so well and will help us to fight for the championship with Arthur.”

Following pre-season testing, which begins at Spanish venue Motorland Aragon on February 22/23 and continues at Paul Ricard (March 8/9) and Circuit de Catalunya (March 19/20), the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 campaign will begin at Monza on April 6-7.

For more information on AV Formula, please visit www.avformula.com.

Photo by Paolo Pellegrini.