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Monteiro to drive new Jordan in Italy

August 26, 2005 23:26 IST

Narain Karthikeyan's hopes of rounding off his debut Formula One season on a high note received a blow when he lost out on the chance to drive the new Jordan-Toyoto EJB15 car at the weekend's Italian Grand Prix to teammate Tiago Monteiro.

The existing model Jordan-Toyoto EJ15 that both drivers have driven this year actually is from 2004, and does not match the 2005 specifications. As such they had had to battle for the wooden spoon with Minardi so far.

The decision on who should drive the new, improved car was made through a toss of the coin at the Monza circuit as the scale of performance was evenly balanced between the two.

Whereas Narain had the speed to his name, Monteiro had the reliability factor going in his favour after a 14 out of 14 finish this season.

Even championship leader Fernando Alonso does not claim those full marks after his Renault team withdrew from the infamous US Grand Prix.

Now, the 28-year old Indian will have to race the remaining five races of the season with a car that had put up so far four 'Did not Finish' shows owing mechanical and electrical failures.

The new EJ15B promises better braking and at least a second's improvement in speed. Narain had said that the car should help the team compete with the likes of Sauber and Red Bull.

Monteiro tested the car on Thursday and completed 47 laps while the team's Test drivers, Nicky Pastorelli and Nicolas Kiesa, also drove the new car in the afternoon.

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