Despite the upheaval between McLaren and Juan Pablo Montoya, it seems the Colombian may yet make a return to the McLaren cockpit. Although it was announced earlier this week that Montoya would step down from his F1 race seat immediately, after he...
Despite the upheaval between McLaren and Juan Pablo Montoya, it seems the Colombian may yet make a return to the McLaren cockpit. Although it was announced earlier this week that Montoya would step down from his F1 race seat immediately, after he revealed that he will race NASCAR next year, he hasn't actually left the team and isn't free to do as he chooses for the rest of this season.
Team principal Ron Dennis said Montoya is still a contracted McLaren driver and could be called upon to race or test for the team. "Juan Pablo is fully contracted until the end of the year and, if we chose so, he will test and race again," Dennis commented at today's press conference at Magny Cours. "That is our option, nobody else's."
He also said that McLaren would not permit Montoya to make his NASCAR debut this year, which the Colombian had been hoping to do, although he hinted a financial settlement could be made. "He is a contracted McLaren driver and it will stay that way until the end of his contract unless there is some other commercial arrangement between ourselves and the NASCAR team or Juan himself."
Dennis claimed that he had recently spoken to Montoya in regard to his future with the team and they had decided that their 'common objective' was to try and get the best out of the rest of this season together. However, once Montoya declared his intention to race NASCAR in 2007, the situation altered.
"The appropriate course of action for the team was to let the whole thing cool off and let him sit and think about the circumstances that surrounded his involvement in the team until we had a very common objective for the remaining races," Dennis remarked.
Test driver Pedro de la Rosa is racing for McLaren this weekend alongside Kimi Raikkonen but it's not definite he will stay in the second seat for the rest of the season. Dennis said it was highly unlikely that second tester Gary Paffett or GP2 driver Lewis Hamilton might drive the McLaren but Montoya coming back? "More than possible." The team boss said.