Heikki Kovalainen commented: “I am thrilled to get the opportunity to race with a world champion team like Renault. I have been a member of the Renault Driver Development programme since 2002, when I had the distant ambition of one day becoming an F1 driver. It is a fantastic feeling to have finally achieved that. My two seasons testing for the team, as well as my time in GP2, have allowed me to build my technical knowledge and to understand what it takes to win in Formula 1. I have also had the opportunity to show the team what I can do, and it is a great motivation to know that they believe in me. It will be a fantastic feeling to line up on the grid in Melbourne, but that is still a long way off. At the moment, I am totally focused on helping Renault win the 2006 championship.”
Test drivers for the next season are Brazilians Ricardo Zonta and Nelson Piquet Jr.