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Doornbos retained as Red Bull tester 26 Jan 2007

Robert Doornbos (NDL) Red Bull Racing. Red Bull RB3 Launch, Barcelona, Spain, 26 January 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton

Ammermuller also kept on by Austrian-owned team

Robert Doornbos was named as Red Bull’s official 2007 test and reserve driver during the launch of the team’s new car, the RB3, on Friday. Doornbos, who competed in the last three Grands Prix of 2006 for the squad, joined race drivers David Coulthard and Mark Webber and fellow tester Michael Ammermuller at the presentation.

“I’m happy and proud to be here,” Doornbos told his official website. “I had an awesome time within the Red Bull family last year and proved my worth in the races I was given. Next to this I was able to witness the team’s boundless ambition and determination to realise their objectives from a close distance. No wonder I wanted to be part of the team’s plans again in 2007.”

Doornbos, 25, joined Red Bull as third driver in 2006. Christian Klien’s premature departure from the team last September saw him promoted to a race seat for the year’s last three events. The season before he raced in eight Grands Prix for Minardi, after spells competing in F3000, Formula Three and Formula Ford.

There had been speculation the Dutchman might race for Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso this season, replacing either of the squad’s incumbent drivers Scott Speed or Vitantonio Liuzzi. Toro Rosso have yet to confirm their 2007 line-up, but Friday’s announcement looks certain to have ruled Doornbos out of the running.

Ammermuller, meanwhile, has also been retained in his Red Bull testing role after several successful outings with the team last year, including three third-driver appearances. The German will again combine his test duties with competing in the GP2 series.