Montagny admits eye on Ralf’s cockpit

Tue, 12 June 2007, 06:05

Franck Montagny is staking a claim for his beleaguered colleague Ralf Schumacher’s race seat.

The team’s French test driver watched the Canadian grand prix from the pitwall, and has been linked with rumours that Schumacher is currently driving under a two-race deadline to up his game.

Montagny was asked by the Spanish news agency EFE if he could rise into the sister TF107 alongside Jarno Trulli at his home grand prix in Magny Cours next month.

“If Ralf is not there, I will be in the car,” he coyly replied.

It is not impossible that Schumacher will be asked to depart the Japanese camp, after Toyota similarly gave Cristiano da Matta his mid-season marching orders in 2004.

RTL, however, quoted the German as saying: “I have a contract and I know that I will finish the season for Toyota.”

Ralf, though, admitted that he is also looking around at his options for 2008.

“Exactly the same as Toyota are, because it is the professional thing to do,” he insisted. “There are some other options for us.”

Schumacher suggested that driver performance should not be the highest priority for Toyota in 2007.

“First we have to build a competitive car that does not break over the kerbs and can ride into the top ten,” the Cologne newspaper Express quoted him as saying.

“Once we do that, then they can worry about secondary things like how the drivers are going.”

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