Super Aguri has announced that Yuji Ide will continue with the team as a test driver only and Franck Montagny will take over the race seat for this weekend's European Grand Prix. The move is not a big surprise as Ide has had a difficult start to...
Super Aguri has announced that Yuji Ide will continue with the team as a test driver only and Franck Montagny will take over the race seat for this weekend's European Grand Prix. The move is not a big surprise as Ide has had a difficult start to his rookie year and his position was already under review after the first three races.
After the flyaway events Ide was due to put in some test time at Barcelona before San Marino but due to technical problems with the car he never got to drive. It appears that the first lap incident at Imola, when Ide clipped the back of Christijan Albers' MF1 and sent the Dutchman's car barrel rolling into the gravel, was the final straw.
Super Aguri said it had taken advice from the FIA to demote Ide to a test role and therefore Montagny, who was confirmed in April as the team's third driver for this weekend, will compete at the N?rburgring instead. It will be the Frenchman's F1 race debut after previously being test driver for Renault.
"We accept the advice offered by the FIA to allow Yuji to accrue the mileage he requires to improve in Formula One during our testing days only," said team principal Aguri Suzuki."The team has made every effort to ensure that Yuji settled into his new F1 surroundings and I think that he has coped incredibly well under the circumstances."
"I wish that I could have given Yuji more time in the car before the start of the season, but with the team being put together so rapidly we were unable to allow him the proper testing that he should have experienced."
"I will continue to look after Yuji's interests and support his continuing efforts within the team, including his path back to a Formula One race seat. As a result, Franck Montagny will drive for us in the second race seat at the European Grand Prix."
Montagny, naturally, is very happy for the chance. "My first official duties in the third car were supposed to take place at the N?rburgring this weekend, but now it has all changed! Instead I will be contesting the GP alongside Sato! It is 'phenomenal' as my friends in Barcelona would say," he told his website.