Despite expressing interest in the GP2 Series, San Marino's Christian Montanari has contented himself with another season in the World Series by Renault, having signed a deal to partner rookie Greg Franchi in Prema Powerteam's inaugural line-up.
Montanari arrives at series newcomer Prema with the benefit of just over a season in the World Series, and victory at last year's Monaco round to his credit. He was apparently top of Prema's wish-list for 2006 because of his experience, the two having got to know each other during Montanari's first season in the sport four years ago.
"Christian was our primary choice among the experienced drivers," team principal Angelo Rosin confirmed, "I believe that, together, we will be able to achieve important results, even though this is our first year in the category. We are convinced that we have created a highly qualified technical structure capable of obtaining good results from the beginning of the year, either with Christian or with Greg."
Montanari was equally confident, despite acknowledging that he will need to work hard to develop Prema into a team ready to tackle World Series frontrunners such as Draco, Pons and Epsilon Euskadi.
"I aspired to a second year in this category because I consider it one of the most important and challenging championships at an international level," he insisted, "On top of that, to have been chosen by Prema to take part in their new project makes me feel even prouder.
"It is true that this is Prema's first season in this category, but it gives me even more courage and will to face the challenge. They definitely have a highly qualified technical structure that will allow us to get results. My first contact with them was in 2002, during my first year in motorsport, and now that we had the opportunity of working together again, it seemed the right decision to make.
"There will be a lot of work to do from the beginning to get us to the same level as other teams, but I have seen as much motivation in Prema as I have myself and that's why I am convinced that we can achieve our goal."