F1 »

Montoya: McLaren have forgotten F1 is a sport.

Juan-Pablo Montoya has spoken about his difficult relationship with McLaren team principal Ron Dennis, whilst admitting that he is glad to have seen the back of Formula 1 – a sport populated, he claims, by robots.

The famously outspoken Colombian – now plying his trade in NASCAR with former Champ Car winning outfit Chip Ganassi Racing, with moderate success – began 94 grands prix in the top flight for Williams and McLaren from 2001 to 2006, before leaving abruptly to return across the Pond midway through his final season.

Though he triumphed on seven occasions, ascended the rostrum no fewer than 30 times and set 13 pole positions and twelve fastest laps in F1, Montoya is insistent that he does not miss life in the category deemed to be the pinnacle of international four-wheeled motorsport.

“In Formula 1 they want you to be a robot,” he told German publication Sport Bild. “If you have a strong personality, you will have problems. I don't regret anything about changing to NASCAR.”

Whilst recalling with a degree of warmth his four-year period spent at Williams from 2001 to 2004, the 32-year-old had some harsh words for subsequent employer McLaren-Mercedes and his team-mate at Woking, Kimi Raikkonen, and suggested that the current grand prix crop are far too quick to make up excuses.

“They complain about everything,” he stated. “Like in Monaco, they complained about reflections in the rear-view mirrors when they go through the tunnel. Me, I think 'just get on with it and drive!'

“Many people in F1 forget that it is a sport. McLaren, for example, take it much too seriously. With Ron [Dennis], you have a nice dinner with him one evening and then when you say 'hi' the next day, he is a totally different person.

“With Kimi it is not about whether you get along with him or not, because he never says anything – and it's difficult to know someone who doesn't talk, right?

“With BMW-Williams I had the most fun, with Patrick Head mostly. Patrick always said what he thinks – as I do. He always tried with every conversation to be polite, but by the end he could never keep it up; that was funny!”

The Bogotá native – who has notched up eight top-ten finishes from 56 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts – also added that he understood the reasons that had compelled former double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso to cut short his three-year contract with McLaren at the end of last season.

“He saw that the future of the team was Lewis Hamilton,” Montoya underlined, “not Fernando Alonso.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Juan Montoya. [Pic Credit image.net]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Raw Dawg - Unregistered

July 30, 2008 1:33 PM

I won't exactly call 7 wins, 30 podiums, 13 poles, and 12 fastest laps a flop or that he couldn't make it in F1! Let him criticize if he wants. He was actually in the team. We complain and share our opinion daily about teams and drivers and we haven't spent a fraction of a second in pit lane. He has a right to complain a thousand times more than us bums!



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.