Montoya sympathises with struggling champs

Juan Pablo Montoya says he sympathises with the current plights of Formula One world champions Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. Colombian Montoya, the winner of 7 Grands Prix since his debut in 2001, switched to America's premier NASCAR...

Juan Pablo Montoya says he sympathises with the current plights of Formula One world champions Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

Colombian Montoya, the winner of 7 Grands Prix since his debut in 2001, switched to America's premier NASCAR series in the middle of the 2006 season, disillusioned with his situation at McLaren.

"To them (Alonso and Hamilton) I say 'welcome to the club'," the now 33-year-old said in an interview with the Spanish news agency EFE from the latest round of the Sprint Cup.

Montoya said the fact that success in F1 is only possible with the very best car had become "monotonous" throughout his six years on the grid.

Referring again to the struggling former champions, he added: "That it is now happening to them is really sad."

Montoya said other aspects of the so-called pinnacle of motor racing also left him disillusioned.

"In the beginning you fight and you're happy to be there," he said of Formula One. "I did fast times, I got several poles, I won some races. The perfect dream.

"But after two or three years you see how everything in the team works, how it is manipulated. And you see that if you want to win you have to be with a particular team and that's pretty frustrating," said Montoya.

Also frustrating is the fact that, if a team's single-seater is not born competitive, there is "nothing you can do" to return to the pace in that season, he added.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams McLaren