Ide demoted to testing on FIA advice

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The Independent Online

The troubled rookie driver Yuji Ide has been demoted to testing duties for the Super Aguri Formula One team, at the behest of the sport's world governing body, the FIA.

The decision followed his collision with Christijan Albers on the opening lap of the recent San Marino GP at Imola, which earned Ide a reprimand from the stewards.

"We accept the advice of the FIA to allow Yuji to accrue the mileage he requires to improve in Formula One during our testing days only," his team principal, Aguri Suzuki, said. "The team has made every effort to ensure that Yuji settled into his new F1 surroundings and I think that he has coped incredibly well under the circumstances. I wish I could have given him more time in the car before the start of the season."

Ide, 31, received support from an unexpected quarter yesterday when Albers, whose car had rolled after contact with Ide, said: "One thing is for sure, it's always easy to say that new drivers need more mileage, but how does he get it?

"It's a problem. Everybody needs to get a chance and he needs to get some experience, and you need to go racing to get that."

Ide's place for Sunday's European Grand Prix here will be taken by the Frenchman Franck Montagny.