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Montagny to replace McNish at Renault 23 Sep 2003

Franck Montagny (FRA) Renault Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, French Grand Prix, Preparations, Magny-Cours, France, 3 July 2003

Renault have announced Franck Montagny as the team's third driver for the 2004 Formula One season, replacing Allan McNish. In a statement, Renault said that the 25 year-old Frenchman had demonstrated speed and consistency during his testing this season, as well as impressing the team with his ability to learn and the quality of his technical feedback.

"I am happy to welcome Franck as our third driver," said Managing Director Flavio Briatore. "In recent years, the third driver has become increasingly important to a team's success, and our decision to promote Franck to this key role is a direct reflection of the work he has accomplished for us this year.

"He has worked hard behind the scenes testing for the F1 team, and he has put in accomplished race performances in the Nissan series. He has a bright future ahead of him."

Briatore also paid tribute to Montagny's predecessor, adding: "We also want to thank Allan McNish, who has done an outstanding job for us this year, and made a key contribution to our success. "His work in the 'Heathrow' test sessions has been invaluable, and we hope that his achievements this year will propel him to greater things."

Montagny, who initially joined Renault as a test driver at the start of 2003, has spent this season competing in the 'World Series by Nissan' with Gabord Competicion. He has taken eight out of twelve race wins, and is currently leading the championship, 107 points ahead of his nearest rival.