Montoya considering long-term future

Juan Pablo Montoya was considering his future when he decided to sign for McLaren in 2005 and believes he can achieve more with the team than with Williams. The Colombian will have driven for Williams for four years when his contract expires at the end of next season and it seems McLaren convinced him to make the change.

Juan Pablo Montoya.
Photo by Greg Gage.
"An offer was made to me, I spoke to Ron Dennis and the Mercedes directors who I knew a little bit from having driven their DTM car in 1996 and then I made my decision," Montoya said, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

"In life you often find yourself at a crossroads -- take it or leave it. I decided to take it. My choice was dictated by considerations for the future and I believe that in the long term I can achieve more with McLaren."

Montoya denied that friction between himself and Williams was the cause of his move. "The decision to change teams wasn't dictated by a falling out with Williams," he stated. "As soon as I had signed with McLaren I went and told Frank. I am happy here at Williams and for this reason I will honour to the letter my contract, driving one more year with them."

Some were surprised that McLaren chose to make the deal public so far in advance of Montoya joining the team. Principal Ron Dennis said the chance of signing the Colombian was 'too good to miss'. Juan Pablo doesn't think the early announcement will do any damage and for the moment he is focused on next year.

"I will continue to work as I always have with the objective of winning the world championship and I am sure that this season (2004) McLaren will be a very tough opponent," he said.