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Time's running out for Ide

NEWS STORY
23/04/2006

Sadly, the San Marino Grand Prix was another difficult lesson for Super Aguri's Yuji Ide.

The Japanese driver was involved in a first lap incident with Christijan albers which saw the Dutch driver launched into a series of barrel rolls across the gravel trap at Villeneuve, necessitating the deployment of the safety car.

Following the event, Ide was summoned by the race stewards who subsequently reprimanded him.

"I didn't think I was pushing too hard at the start," said the Super Aguri driver, "but when I was exiting the second chicane Albers was the one on the racing line and I could not avoid contacting his car."

The Dutchman, and indeed the stewards, saw it differently: "I had a reasonable start that ended up being wasted by an unnecessary race incident," said Albers. "I had a lot of fuel on board and driving to a certain strategy, so I wasn't trying to hold anyone up. But instead, he just pushed me off the road from behind.

"With all due respect to the Super Aguri drivers, they are being much too aggressive in trying to jump ahead of us at the start so that they can hold us up during the race, as they've done in the past," he added. "They are taking too many risks, and we saw today how dangerous this can be.

"I don't understand this tactic, because I would have conceded the position to Ide had he been in a position to take it."

Following the Australian Grand Prix, Ide was first to admit that there was room for improvement: "I am far from being competitive compared to the other drivers," he admitted, "so I want to improve my driving skills and learn the next circuit as quickly as possible."

The Japanese driver was scheduled to get track-time at the subsequent test at Barcelona, but due to various reliability issues he never got to drive the car.

Team boss Aguri Suzuki has already warned that Ide must up his game, or risk losing his seat. It would appear that time is running out, the only question is when will the team act and who they will replace him with.

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