After the close-fought 2003 season, many were expecting to see a similar state of affairs on track this year. So far, however, Ferrari has trounced the opposition with a pair of one-two finishes out of three races -- but there's still a long way to go. Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya is one of the favourites to challenge Michael Schumacher for the title and the Colombian isn't letting recent troubles distract him.
Montoya was heading for a certain third place in Bahrain when gearbox problems forced him to slow, eventually cruising to a halt on the start straight and being classified 13th. As usual, he shrugged it off.
"You've just got to be positive and go for it," he said, according to the team website. "You've got to go for it in every race. You never know how many points you're going to score in a season, so you've got to score as many as possible today."
Williams is currently third in the constructors' standings, three points behind Renault and 32 behind leaders Ferrari. Despite the gap in points, Williams has been close to Ferrari on track, if not as close as it would like.
Montoya and teammate Ralf Schumacher lined up on the grid third and fourth behind the Ferraris in Bahrain. "We're quick," Montoya commented. "Although we're not as quick as we want to be. But it's not like we're ten spots away."
Ferrari appears to be well ahead of its competitors but, as has often been repeated, it's a long season and anything can happen. "It doesn't look that bad," said Montoya. "Particularly in consideration of the fact that there are still 15 more races to go."
Williams is currently at Vairano working on straight-line tests and will move to Paul Ricard in France on Wednesday, for further preparation for the San Marino Grand Prix in two weeks time.