Franck Montagny has left Toyota after completing his final test for the team at Barcelona on Thursday.
The 29-year-old Frenchman, a veteran of 13 grands prix starts for Jordan and Super Aguri, has been on the fringes of the F1 grid for five years but has never been able to secure a permanent race drive.
After a frustrating season where teams' testers have been left on the sidelines as GP weekend rule changes favored input from race drivers, Montagny is off to pursue fresh challenges.
“It was my last day driving for the team and it has been a good day, which I am happy about," he said after setting the third fastest time of the week. "I hope for the team that we have moved in the right direction.
"I would like to thank all the team for everything throughout the year because at times it has been a bit frustrating with a lot of watching and not as much driving. "But everyone in the team has been very supportive and good with me and I have enjoyed working with them, so I thank them for that.”
Toyota F1 president John Howett added: “Working with Franck this year has been a very positive experience and he has given a lot to the team. "His work at tests has been outstanding and he has helped us to continuously improve the performance of our car. He is an enthusiastic character who is also very dedicated to his work.
"We have enjoyed having him as part of the team and we will miss him.” It's unclear where Montagny, one of F1's most experienced test drivers, will go next. His ambitions of gaining a full-time GP drive appear to have dried up, with several more recognized drivers still fighting for seats in the 2008 line-up. Montagny began his testing career with Renault in 2003 and remained there under the guidance of Flavio Briatore until the end of '05.
He switched to Super Aguri in 2006, where he was promoted to the race seat when Yuji Ide was fired.
Montagny then signed to replace Ricardo Zonta as Toyota's third driver in 2007 on a one-year deal.
Copyright 1999-2018 | AutoRacing1 is an
independent internet online publication and is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed
by IndyCar, NASCAR, FIA, or any series sponsor.
This material may not be published, broadcast, or redistributed without