Renault F1 test driver Franck Montagny has conducted the first shakedown runs with the new GP2 Series car, which will replace F3000 as Formula One's chief 'feeder formula' in 2005

The test, at Paul Ricard, marked an important step in the technical programme of series, which is supported by Renault, as Montagny conducted routine checks. No lap-times were recorded but, after a full day's running, the Frenchman was positive that the car would be a good replacement for the current F3000 machine.

"The mechanics made a thorough check of every part of the car before letting me out on the circuit" he said, "Once in the cockpit, I felt very comfortable. As a driver, your first impressions when you get into a car are very important, and I was confident immediately, which is a good sign.

"The aim of these first runs was not to set quick times, but I still got some idea of the car's potential and I believe it will perform impressively. Our work focused on the Renault engine, making runs at different engine speeds and loads. Furthermore, the build quality is exceptional: Dallara and M?cachrome have done a great job."



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