DECEMBER 18, 2002
The Renault test drive
Renault team principals are in the process of deciding who will be the team's third driver in 2003 after a series of test to try out youngsters. The team tested four hopesfuls, three of them French and at the moment it seems that the favourites to get the drive are Sebastian Bourdais and Franck Montagny, although Romain Dumas also impressed in his test for the team. What is fairly clear is that the fourth driver to test - Portugal's Tiago Monteiro - is unlikely to be the lucky winner of this competition as he was slower than Dumas in his testing and because there is pressure for the team's third driver to be a Frenchman.
On paper Bourdais is probably the favourite having this year won the International Formula 3000 title. Having said that Bourdais's win came only after Tomas Enge lost points for having failed a drugs test. There is also the possibility that Bourdais will conclude that a CART drive is a better career move than being an F1 test driver. Bourdais is due to test for the Newman Haas Racing team this week and could end up as Bruno Junqueira's team mate in the championship-winning team.
Montagny has been trying to find a way into Formula 1 for several seasons, racing in 2002 in Formula Nissan against former F1 driver Ricardo Zonta and Minardi's new signing Justin Wilson. Montagny recently did his first F1 test with Minardi before having his run with Renault.
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