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Montagny returns as Super Aguri third driver

Written by: Staff

LONDON, Apr 26 (Reuters) Former Renault tester Franck Montagny will drive Super Aguri's third car in Friday practice at next week's European Grand Prix, the Formula One team said today.

Frenchman Montagny could also be in line to replace struggling Japanese rookie Yuji Ide, who was reprimanded after last weekend's San Marino race for causing a collision that sent Midland's Christijan Albers cartwheeling off the track.

''Discussions continue regarding further opportunities within the team,'' the team said in a statement, while confirming that Ide and Japan's Takuma Sato would continue as race drivers at the Nuerburgring.

''Franck will also be on stand-by as the team's reserve race driver.'' Montagny served as a reserve for newcomers Super Aguri, currently the slowest team in Formula One, at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix and In Malaysia but they had no third car then for Friday practice.

With a new car due at the French Grand Prix in July, Super Aguri have stopped development of the existing one and have decided to run a third car on Fridays at race weekends instead of testing elsewhere.

All the teams, apart from the top four from last season, are allowed to run third cars.

''It is good to have Franck with us again at the European Grand Prix. His feedback on the SA05's performance will be extremely useful to our engineers as he has a high level of F1 technical knowledge,'' said team head Aguri Suzuki.

Team manager Daniele Audetto told Reuters at the weekend that they were considering a potential replacement for Ide but not before the Nuerburgring, the fifth race of the season.

''We should give him a little bit more time, not too much but certainly a little bit more,'' he said.

''We should see how he races at the Nuerburgring, which is not a difficult circuit, and then we will make the decision.'' REUTERS PDS BST2213

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