MAY 16, 2001
Montoya was right to fight - Berger
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA's dramatic battle with three-time world champion Michael Schumacher was met with some disapproval by the Ferrari star, but former racer Gerhard Berger backed Montoya all the way.
The fight ended with Montoya and Schumacher grinding to a halt as both braked too late into the Remus Kurve. The pair lost places and the incident cost Schumacher a possible victory.
"I understand Michael that he's upset but that's what Montoya had to do if he's a fighter," said BMW motorsports boss Berger. "It was clear that what Montoya did was right.
"He braked late, but he braked a bit too late, so he had to catch it again and used all the space. That's racing.
"If somebody tries outside you need somebody inside playing the game. He (Schumacher) tried outside and he could not expect Montoya wouldn't fight for his position in this situation.
"We saw Montoya overtaking Trulli on the outside in Imola and it's a similar situation. You need the other guy accepting it if you want to do this and Montoya is not really a guy who would accept it."
The incident dropped Schumacher down to sixth and lost Montoya six places, but Berger was not about to complain to the ever-exuberant Montoya for the way he handled it.
"It was a good race with lots of fighting," said Berger. "And we lost some positions in the fight but that's racing."
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