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Montagny in for Doornbos at Jordan 26 May 2005

Franck Montagny (FRA) Renault R24. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, 28 April 2004. World © Capilitan/Sutton

Renault tester Franck Montagny will drive the third Jordan in this Friday’s practice sessions for the European Grand Prix, replacing Robert Doornbos. Montagny will resume normal race weekend duties as Renault’s reserve driver on Saturday and Sunday.

Jordan, who were taken over by Alex Shnaider’s Midland Group ahead of the 2005 season, hope the move will have a significant impact on the development of a competitive race set-up for their current EJ15 car, as well as on the progress of their 2006 machine.

Explaining Montagny’s arrival, Jordan's Managing Director, Colin Kolles, said: "We began the season with three rookie drivers, which was the right thing to do while we adjusted to the Formula One environment. But now, 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 team boss Flavio Briatore added: “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.”

Montagny, 27, a former World Series by Nissan champion, joined Renault as a Formula One test driver in 2003.