McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya talks about the new MP4-21 and the upcoming 2006 season Q: How did the first run of the car go today at the Circuit de Catalunya? Juan Pablo Montoya. Photo by xpb.cc. Juan Pablo Montoya: It was good, ...
McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya talks about the new MP4-21 and the upcoming 2006 season
Q: How did the first run of the car go today at the Circuit de Catalunya?
Juan Pablo Montoya: It was good, there were a couple of minor issues, but you expect that with the new car, and you know this is why we go testing! I am in the new car tomorrow and Wednesday and I am really looking forward to driving it for the first time, it is always exciting you know to see what your office will be like for the next 12 months! Also it means that I can really start to have an input and work with the team on developing the new car. At the moment, I am scheduled for 11 days in the car before it leaves for Bahrain.
Because I will be driving MP4-21 for the first time, I will spend a few days with the team completing systems checks, getting used to the car, you know just generally breaking it in. Pedro will have completed some of the the initial checks already today. As testing continues this week, Pedro and Gary will continue to work on the same areas in the MP4-20s alongside me and Kimi with their focus remaining on tyres with Michelin and engines.
Q: What are your thoughts on MP4-21?
JPM: It's too early to say, as I have not even driven it yet. The work rate that has been taking place within McLaren Racing and Mercedes-Benz has been amazing and we learnt a lot of positive things from last year's car, so you know we hope that can be continued into MP4-21 and just have to wait until Bahrain to see!
Q: Have you spent any time at the McLaren Technology Centre since the end of the season working with engineering team?
JPM: I like to try and go to the McLaren Technology Centre as often as I can, which is difficult because of my schedule, but it is good to catch up with the team and everything. Between the end of the season and Christmas, I spent four days at the facility working with the engineering team and having a look at the on-going development of MP4-21. On Tuesday 10th January I had my seat-fitting in the new car and my last visit was last Thursday and Friday.
Q: What are your expectations for 2006?
JPM: I want to be on the top step of the podium many more times than in 2005, and to be battling for the World Championships with Team McLaren Mercedes. I am a racer and I want to win and I am with the team that I can do that with. I think it has the potential to be another great year for the sport, things got really interesting last year and that will hopefully continue. Because of the changes to engines and tyres, there might be some teams doing better than expected and some doing worse, but until we have raced rather than just being on the test track it is all speculation.
Q: What do you think the main challenges will be?
JPM: For everyone there are the two big changes I guess, to V8s and tyres in pit stops. For me specifically, I am just looking forward to an exciting second season with Team McLaren Mercedes.