In an interview with Caracol Radio in Columbia, Juan Pablo Montoya said that he has no interest in improving his relationship with team mate Ralf Schumacher. Relations between the two have been cool all season, and have provoked speculation that...
In an interview with Caracol Radio in Columbia, Juan Pablo Montoya said that he has no interest in improving his relationship with team mate Ralf Schumacher.
Relations between the two have been cool all season, and have provoked speculation that there may be clashes between them, both on and off the track, next year as they both battle for the World Championship.
"Truthfully, I am not interested in improving my relationship with Ralf," he said. "For me he is my team mate on a professional level and that's fine. He has his life, I have mine and that's as far as it goes. In terms of equipment there is no number one. I believe that within Williams there is no number one, or two, and it does not matter who is winning or who is losing. We are equal. What I know is that in all ways we are respected, because in the same way that I respect him, he respects me."
Montoya said neither driver would be favoured in the team, regardless of who was winning and emphasised that each respected the other. Ralf won three races in 2001, helping Williams to finish third overall in the constructors' standings. Montoya won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza last month and has led several races in a debut season that has seen him widely hailed as Formula 1's most exciting newcomer and challenger to Michael Schumacher.
Ferrari's four times World Champion, Ralf's older brother, said this month that he did not consider Montoya to be the 'revelation' of the season because he had not done enough to warrant the description yet. Montoya agreed in part with his German team mate. He believes that he has too much experience to be considered seriously as Formula 1's rookie of the year: "In truth I do not consider myself a novice. I have won a CART championship and the Indianapolis 500, I have competed in Formula 1 and have been racing for fifteen years."
He also spoke of his great respect for team boss Frank Williams. "I have a very good relationship with him, aside from that he is a great person and I almost consider him like a great friend. In addition always he has given me constructive criticism," the Colombian said.
As for next season, he said: "We have a new engine and chassis - a totally new car. I believe that from this base we will see results."