Renault release McNish

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The Independent Online

Allan McNish who was released by Renault yesterday has refused to be dampened by the setback insisting he is "more determined than ever to succeed".

The Scotsman has been replaced as the team's test and reserve driver by Franck Montagny, and is now contemplating his options after sliding out of the Formula One limelight since his debut season with Toyota in 2002.

Despite the announcement by Renault, McNish is bullish about his future and confident of success next year. The former Le Mans winner said: "I've had a fantastic year with Renault F1 and would like to extend my thanks to all the team for their hard work and support during the thousands of miles I've completed this season testing the R23.

"I'm obviously disappointed that I won't be with the team next year. I am in the fortunate position of having a number of options open to me, and my management team and I are assessing which path to take at the moment."

A return to sports cars could beckon for McNish, who has already enjoyed a distinguished career in that form of racing.

The Renault managing director, Flavio Briatore, tipped him to succeed in whatever he chose to do. "Our decision to promote Franck to this key role is a direct reflection of the work he has accomplished for us this year," Briatore said. "We also want to thank Allan McNish, who has done an outstanding job for us this year and made a key contribution to our success.