Honda website
Honda website

DECEMBER 16, 2000

Schumacher has no problems with Montoya

RALF SCHUMACHER has dismissed reports that he has a problem with new BMW-Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya.

Reports had suggested that Schumacher was not happy that Montoya replaced Jenson Button, who has been loaned to Benetton for two seasons, with the Grove-based team.

But German driver Schumacher said that he was misquoted and had simply said that he was sad to see Button go after an impressive debut season in Formula One.

"I don't know who started the rumor that I have a problem with Juan," said Schumacher. "We had a few nice conversations last week at Jerez. He showed their that he is very quick and focused. We get on very well."

BMW Motorsport director Gerhard Berger also defended the appointment of Colombian Montoya, who won the prestigious Indianapolis 500 race this year and was the 1999 Champ Car Champion.

Berger said: "We're convinced he has great potential and is a talented driver. We saw some top drivers struggle throughout last year, but we're convinced he will get the job done for us.

"He had no problems adapting to the car last week in Jerez and he did what we expected of him. We need to take a few months to see what he can really do, but I'm looking forward to having him in the team."