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Japan's Ide will not race again this year

Written by: Staff

LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) Formula One's governing body has withdrawn Japanese rookie Yuji Ide's licence and he will not race again this season, his Super Aguri team said today.

France's Franck Montagny, who made his race debut with the Honda-backed newcomers at last Sunday's European Grand Prix, will race again in Spain this weekend as well as in Monaco on May 28.

''Super Aguri confirms that the (International Automobile Federation) FIA permit office has retracted Yuji Ide's super licence,'' the team said in a statement.

''He will therefore not be participating in any further official FIA Formula One world championship events this year,'' it added.

Ide, 31, was dropped before the last European Grand Prix on the advice of the FIA after several teams and drivers expressed safety concerns.

The rookie was reprimanded by stewards at the fourth round, the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, after colliding with Midland's Christijan Albers, sending the Dutch driver barrel-rolling into the gravel run-off.

Albers accused the Aguri driver of simply pushing him off the road: ''They are taking too many risks and we saw today how dangerous this can be,'' he said.

Team founder Aguri Suzuki said he accepted the FIA's decision ''with sadness and regret'' but held out the hope that Ide might return one day.

Suzuki said the team would ''continue to seek driving opportunities for Yuji and hopefully a path back into Formula One.'' ''Discussions with a number of parties continue regarding the permanent positions of second race seat and third driver,'' added Suzuki.

Montagny, a former Renault test driver, was hired originally to drive the team's third car in Friday testing only and had been due to be in Barcelona this weekend anyway. He completed half the race at the Nuerburgring before retiring.

Super Aguri came into Formula One this season with the sport's first all-Japanese line-up with the aim of providing a platform for the country's drivers.

Ide had partnered Takuma Sato, Japan's most successful Formula One driver, who was dropped by Honda-owned BAR at the end of last year.

One possibility touted for the future is Sakon Yamamoto, who tested for Jordan at his home race last season and is currently racing in Japan's Formula Nippon. Ide was runner-up in that series last year.

Reuters DH RS1834

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