British racer Oliver Webb has revealed he was close to signing for another season of racing in America before making a last-minute decision to return to Formula Renault 3.5.
Webb finished seventh in Indy Lights with Sam Schmidt Motorsports in 2012, having raced in FR3.5 for Pons the year before. He had planned to stay in the U.S. to work toward a career in IndyCar, but decided to come back to Europe as a result of a new sponsor coming on board.
Speaking at the AUTOSPORT International motorsports show in England, Webb said: "It really only came to light a few days before I signed that there was a chance with Fortec. I was very very close to re-signing in the States. Then we found a sponsor that was keen to do World Series.
"With age being quite crucial in Europe, we made the decision to come back and give it another try. The new 3.5 car is so quick and so close to Formula 1 that it's worth another shot."
Webb has not driven the new-for-2012 spec Renault car, but he does not see that preventing him from fighting to succeed outgoing Fortec driver Robin Frijns as champion.
"I don't have any reason not to be fighting for the championship with Fortec," he said. "It's a great family team I have worked well with in the past, and they proved themselves last year with Frijns. I'll get my first chance in the new car in February and we'll see how it goes."
Webb will partner reigning Formula Renault Eurocup champion Stoffel Vandoorne this year.