Juan Montoya believes that Williams-BMW team-mate Marc Gene was unfortunate to lose his place in the race team after just two outings, but insists that he will work as closely with new partner Antonio Pizzonia, who replaces the Spaniard for this weekend's event at Hockenheim.

Gene stepped up to the plate as replacement for the injured Ralf Schumacher, but failed to trouble the scorers at either Magny-Cours or Silverstone and was dropped in favour of testing colleague Pizzonia for the German race. Montoya reckons that circumstances conspired against Gene, but has said that he will just get on with his job this weekend, and is happy to work with whoever the team decides to line-up against him.

"I think he was unlucky," Montoya told the media at Hockenheim, "He made a couple of mistakes in qualifying at the last race, and was then stuck in traffic all race. I think he lost a bit of an opportunity there because, throughout the weekend, he was very fast.

"It is strange to work with somebody else every race, but that is the way it is. It is harder for the rest of the team than for myself. It is harder for the race engineer than me. I am doing the best I can at every race, with my people working around my car.

"With Marc, I tended to help him quite a bit because he asked. If Antonio asks, I will help him. Of course, if I have a problem and he seems to be going the better direction than me, then, for sure, I will ask him questions too."

Montoya won last year's German GP by a country mile, despite having to nurse his car in the closing stages, but the Williams package has not looked likely to upset the Ferrari applecart so far this season. The distinctive FW26 now sports a revised aero kit, and Montoya is confident that it can help him get closer to the front of the field this weekend.

"I think the last couple of races have turned things a little bit our way," the Colombian explained, "There are a couple of things coming on the car, and it is nice to see that, but I think that there is still a long way to go to really be fully competitive.

"I think a lot of aerodynamic things are fixed. It doesn't really change the way you have got to run the car. At Silverstone, we had a couple of new things on it and improved. We have new things here, and I think we have started to get a normal rate of development race-by-race. I just think that, in the first six months, we fell back so much that it really cost us."

Montoya refused to complain about the decision to exclude him from successive races in Canada and the USA, instead claiming that the team may actually have worked harder as a result.

"I think, if things like that happen [because of] mistakes, it is good because it alarms a lot of people and a lot of people, maybe, who are making little mistakes put extra attention to the way they do things," he explained, "And while, in a way, it was bad for the team to lose the points, apart of that, I think it was good. I think it has a positive side in the end. When things like that happen, you have to look at the positive side and try to learn from the mistakes. If the team learned from its mistakes, then it is good."