Montoya demoted to back of grid

Montoya demoted to back of grid

Juan Pablo Montoya has been penalised for an incident involving David Coulthard and two other cars in Saturday's second practice session and will have to start the Monaco Grand Prix from the back of the grid. Juan Pablo Montoya. Photo...

Juan Pablo Montoya has been penalised for an incident involving David Coulthard and two other cars in Saturday's second practice session and will have to start the Monaco Grand Prix from the back of the grid.

Juan Pablo Montoya.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Stewards investigated the incident, in which Montoya appeared to brake early, causing the Sauber of Jacques Villeneuve to hit the back of Coulthard's Red Bull, which in turn collided with the Toyota of Ralf Schumacher, and judged that Montoya had caused an avoidable accident.

"As his (Montoya) progress was impeded in a minor manner, he braked and took exception to his lap being disturbed and subsequently drove unnecessarily slowly in a very fast part of the track," the stewards said.

"With the result that Jacques Villeneuve, who was also on a fast lap, was unable to stop and hit the rear of David Coulthard's car which then went into Ralf Schumacher's."

Montoya, who qualified fifth, said he was just trying to get out of the way. "Basically I slowed down to avoid hitting Ralf and tried to move out of the way because I knew Villeneuve was behind me," he commented.

Coulthard was not impressed and accused Montoya of brake-testing Ralf. "I was following Ralf out of the pits and he was already a little bit up the straight when he got his blue flag," Coulthard told ITV.

"He moved over but it's very difficult to be flat and overtake a car going up the hill, so naturally Juan Pablo had to back off. It's a feature of Monaco, but what Montoya did in reaction to that is ridiculous -- he slowed right down beside Ralf, went in front and brake-tested him.

"Then there was a concertina effect and Jacques coming up the hill unsighted because you're kind of peering over the top of the cockpit and he goes straight into the back of me. There's no question that that sort of behaviour should be penalized."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Sauber