Jordan Grand Prix has confirmed that Franck Montagny, Renault F1's highly acclaimed test and reserve driver, will join forces with the team as driver of Friday's practice sessions, starting at the European Grand Prix.
Montagny's test drive for Jordan Grand Prix is expected to have a significant impact on the development of a competitive car set-up under race conditions, as well as on the progress of the new 2006 car in the making.
Colin Kolles, Jordan's Managing Director said: "We began the season with three rookie drivers, which was the right thing to do while we adjusted to the Formula 1 environment. But now, after 6 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."
Mild Seven Renault F1 Managing Director, Flavio Briatore, commented: "We have been working to give Franck the opportunity to demonstrate his undoubted capabilities at a race weekend and this is a good step for him, as at Friday practice he will have the chance to test the car in representative conditions. I am 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."