Juan Pablo Montoya spoke with Motorsport.com about the difficulty in transitioning from one form of motorsport to another.
Juan Pablo Montoya knows about transitions from one form of motorsport to another. He drove F3000 in Europe before going to America to race CART and the 2000 Indianapolis 500. He won as a Formula One driver from 2001, until 2006. After that, he raced the NASCAR circuit until the 2014 season, when he made his way back to IndyCar racing.
Montoya has managed to be a success upon his return to IndyCar, managing a win at the Pocono 500 with several other good results during the season. In 2015, he's already secured his first checkered flag in the season-opening St. Pete event. However, not everybody manages to have a successful transition from one discipline to another.
When you go back to something, it’s going to take time, you’ve got to be humble for a while
Juan Pablo Montoya
Dario Franchitti, Danica Patrick, Patrick Carpentier are a few that come to mind.
Ambrose V8 Supercar return doesn't go as expected
Marcos Ambrose made headlines by announcing his return to Australian V8 Supercars after a stint in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, where he won multiple races on road courses. After a championship race weekend in Adelaide and a non-points event at Melbourne, Ambrose relinquished control of his car to Scott Pye because he didn't anticipate how tough the return would be and didn't want to hold his DJR Team Penske team back.
Humility and versatility helps
Montoya’s attitude and mindset has helped him out tremendously in his return to the open-wheel ranks.
“You’ve got to understand that when you go back to something, it’s going to take time, you’ve got to be humble for a while and you’ve got to take it as it comes. I still tell people that I don’t [feel comfortable],” Montoya told Motorsport.com.
I think he (Ambrose) wanted performance ... He thought he could come back and just win straight away, and I think it makes it hard when you have high expectations
Juan Pablo Montoya
JPM’s versatility may give him an edge over others, able to quickly adapt to whatever he is wheeling.
“I just seem to adapt to anything pretty quick. It’s very easy to get to 80 or 90 percent, [in] my opinion, but the last 10 percent is very difficult. When you go in and you’re comfortable in the car, it makes it even easier. If you get into the car and you don’t feel comfortable and you don’t like the way the car feels, then you’re in trouble,” Montoya said.
Wanting too much too soon?
As for Ambrose, it might have been a case of wanting to return to the top and challenging the likes of Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes, which was a major blow to his psyche when reality said otherwise.
“I think he wanted performance, I mean he went from winning there to NASCAR, he thought he could come back and just win straight away, and I think it makes it hard when you have high expectations. That’s why from day one with me I’m like ‘Don’t look at me, leave me alone,’ and I always said I sucked and I was okay admitting I sucked,” Montoya said.
One big difference between this year compared to last year is preparation.
“I feel fine, I felt like we’ve done a really good job. I feel like fitness wise, I’m good, I could always be lighter, but that’s just me, it’s freaking impossible I don’t get off the bike and still don’t lose the weight,” Montoya admitted.