San Marino GP Saturday morning practise results

Juan Pablo Montoya insisted he was happy with the way his debut Formula 1 season had gone after finishing second in the season-ending Japanese Grand Prix. Montoya finished sixth in the drivers championship with 31 points but that does not tell...

Juan Pablo Montoya insisted he was happy with the way his debut Formula 1 season had gone after finishing second in the season-ending Japanese Grand Prix.

Montoya finished sixth in the drivers championship with 31 points but that does not tell the whole story. He took pole position three times and won once. He could have won on several other occasions had it not been for a series of unlucky retirements.

He said: "I have enjoyed my first season and want to thank the team for everything and now it is up to us to work hard for next year." Montoya said he stood little chance of victory at Suzuka from the moment that Michael Schumacher beat him into the first corner.

He explained: "I am happy with the result as we had to be realistic about what we could do against the new Ferrari that Michael had.

"He got away on new tyres and I think that is where he won the race. I had a battle with Rubens in the first few laps and I had a good race up to then. As you could see Rubens was on new tyres and I was on old tyres and on the first few laps Michael got away and pulled out a big gap."

Montoya again beat team-mate Ralf Schumacher, who finished sixth after receiving a stop-go penalty, his second of the season.

He said: "Unfortunately the stop and go penalty has cost me third place, but I have to accept the penalty as this is the rule, although my advantage was only a couple of tenths of a second. After the first pit stop it seemed the speed limiter on Rubens’ Ferrari got stuck so this is why I had to swerve at the end of the pit lane to avoid hitting him."

Be part of something big

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