JANUARY 31, 2001
Montoya gets firm backing from Head
BMW-WILLIAMS technical director Patrick Head has backed the decision to bring Juan Pablo Montoya to the team in replace of Briton's Jenson Button.
Montoya is set for his first season in Formula One after capturing the Indy 500 and competing in America's Champ Car series last year and Head believes he will be an instant success.
Head said: "We followed Juan Pablo from quite a long way back. He really loves being a racing driver. He likes being close on the track to other people. That's the kind of racing driver we like."
Head also admitted that the new FW23 is short of the standards of last year's car because of the new FIA rules, but he said the team are working on improving the standards for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in March.
"It's fairly well recognized that if you took last year's car and raised the wing, lengthened the sidepods and reduced the number of element in the rear wing, in general most people felt they lost 15 to 20 per cent of aerodynamic performance," Head added.
"We are not at the level of last year yet, but we've certainly closed a major part of that."
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