CHAMPCAR/CART: Williams holds on to Montoya rights

Target Ganassi driver Juan Pablo Montoya, the 1999 CART champion and clearly one of the fastest drivers on the CART circuit, has been fingered by media as the top driver in the Toyota entry for the 2001 Formula One championship. Montoya, who ...

Target Ganassi driver Juan Pablo Montoya, the 1999 CART champion and clearly one of the fastest drivers on the CART circuit, has been fingered by media as the top driver in the Toyota entry for the 2001 Formula One championship.

Montoya, who currently drives a Lola-Toyota for Ganassi, has impressed Toyota management, although the Japanese firm's engine reliability has so far failed to do the same for the young Colombian.

However, Frank Williams was unequivocal about BMW Williams' rights to Montoya next season. "Toyota couldn't use [Montoya] unless they negotiated with us,' said Williams, who feels that he has an iron-clad case, should it come to a hearing of the F1 Contracts Recognition Board.

While Williams is in an excellent position by having the option on Montoya's services for 2001, it will force them to make some tough decisions. The current #2 to Ralf Schumacher, Jenson Button, has shown very strongly in the early part of the season, making his ejection less than automatic.

Williams will also be sure to temper his judgement of Montoya's superb CART performances with his Zanardi experience: the two-time CART champion (and Montoya's predecessor at Ganassi) inexplicably failed to score a single point for Williams in 1999 on his return to F1.

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , IndyCar
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Williams