Renault test driver Franck Montagny will take over third driver duties for Jordan at this weekend's European Grand Prix, replacing Robert Doornbos. Montagny has been Renault's tester since 2004 and Jordan wants a more experienced driver behind the...
Renault test driver Franck Montagny will take over third driver duties for Jordan at this weekend's European Grand Prix, replacing Robert Doornbos. Montagny has been Renault's tester since 2004 and Jordan wants a more experienced driver behind the wheel on Fridays to help set up the car for races, as well as contribute to the development of next year's chassis.
"We began the season with three rookie drivers, which was the right thing to do while we adjusted to the Formula One environment," said Jordan managing director Collin Kolles. "But now, after six races into the season, we do understand that we need an experienced driver to join forces and simultaneously build up our three rookies."
"As we are in a transition year, we are in the unique position to try different options to make sure that next year, when the team will race as Midland F1, we will be able to be competitive from the very beginning.
"We are very pleased to be given the opportunity to use Franck Montagny's considerable track experience -- more than 13,000 km behind the wheel of an F1 car -- to give our development a major push forward. In light of this, I am expecting improved performances from our team over the course of the next few races."
Renault's Flavio Briatore commented: "We have been working to give Franck the chance to demonstrate his undoubted capabilities at a race weekend and this is a good step for him, as at Friday practice he will be able to test the car in representative conditions."
"We are happy to be able to help Alex Shnaider and the Jordan team, who will be getting valuable feedback from a quick and proven F1 test-driver who has experience with a top car and team. I believe this is a good opportunity for everyone concerned."
Doornbos has been third driver for Jordan this year and also for the last couple of races of 2004. A statement from the Dutchman said he would be at the European GP to support the team and may return to the cockpit later in the season. It added that he was always aware that Jordan might decide to test different drivers.