Finn Heikki Kovalainen has been announced as the Renault F1 Team’s third driver for the 2006 season.
The Renault F1 Team today announced that Heikki Kovalainen, runner-up in the 2005 GP2 Series, will be the team’s third and test driver for the 2006 season. The Finn has already tested successfully for the team during 2005, and this new role is a logical step in his career path towards Formula 1.
Renault F1 Team Managing Director Flavio Briatore commented: “We are delighted to welcome Heikki to the team as our third driver for 2006. He has demonstrated that he is a talented, aggressive driver in the GP2 Series, and he has impressed our engineers during his tests with the team. The test driver’s role will be crucial during 2006 as we develop our V8 engine through the season to defend the world championship. I am confident Heikki will make a valuable contribution to our success.
“Franck Montagny will continue testing for us until the end of 2005, and I want to pay tribute to his dedication and contribution during his time as test driver. His work with the test team played an important part in our championship victory, and we wish him well for the future.”
Heikki Kovalainen commented: “I am delighted to have been offered this opportunity by Renault. I have already done some testing for the team, but I still have a lot to learn. This role will allow me to understand more about the team and how Formula 1 works while developing my driving and technical skills at this level. It is a privilege to be invited to join a championship-winning team, and I am determined to help Renault retain its world titles.”
Renault F1 Team