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15 September: Following the poor form of Jarno Trulli in recent races, the Renault F1 team and Jarno Trulli reached an agreement to release him immediately from his contract. 
Earlier the team announced that Jacques Villeneuve will test for the team at Silverstone on Wednesday and Thursday and could be the driver to replace Jarno Trulli at the final three races of 2004. The Renault lineup for the Chinese Grand Prix will be announced following the Silverstone test.

Managing Director Flavio Briatore commented on the release of Jarno Trulli by saying: "Once again, we would like to thank Jarno for his contribution to the team over the past three years. The team and Jarno feel that an early separation will allow both parties to conclude the year in the most positive way."

Jarno Trulli said "I am very comfortable with this decision. I would like to thank Renault for their support since 2002, and for the success we enjoyed together. I am grateful to the team for releasing me from my obligations, which will give me the opportunity to start with my new team sooner than expected."

Commenting on the Villeneuve test, Flavio Briatore said "We have reached an agreement for Jacques to test for the team at Silverstone on Wednesday and Thursday. This test might lead to Jacques joining the team for the final three races of the season beginning next week at the Chinese Grand Prix."

The Renault team lost second place in the Championship to BAR at the Italian Grand Prix. Jarno Trulli hasn't scored any points for the team since the British Grand Prix having had 2 retirements, a 9th, a 10th and 11th place finishes. He still leads his teammate Fernando Alonso in the Drivers' Championship 46 points to 45 and is one of only two non-Ferrari drivers to have won a race this season.
It is unclear whether Jarno Trulli will drive for another team for the rest of the season but is strongly rumoured to be joining Toyota in 2005 and so they may want to give him a drive early.

Related Stories:
Jarno Trulli signs with Toyota for 2005

Jacques Villeneuve to drive for Renault F1 at the final 3 races of the season

Click here for the 2005 Formula 1 Team and Driver Line-up 

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