Montoya ready for Monaco challenge

ALTHOUGH this will be Juan Pablo Montoya's first Formula One race in Monaco, the Colombian driver is very familiar with the streets of Monte Carlo.

Montoya, who has already chalked up six championship points in his debut season, finished sixth in the Formula 3000 race at the Principality in 1998.

And now Montoya is looking forward to his first Formula One race in this unique event.

"I am pretty familiar with the Monaco circuit as I spend quite a lot of time in the Principality so I drive on these streets regularly," said Montoya.

"Last time I raced there was in 1998, in a F3000 race and I had quite an exciting race, finishing sixth.

"I don't really feel the special atmosphere of Monaco because - besides spending quite a lot of time there - at the end of the day when you are concentrating on your job that is the most important thing."

Ralf Schumacher also has fond memories of the Monte Carlo circuit when he qualified a very creditable sixth at his first visit to the track in 1997.

Schumacher said: "For drivers Monaco is a big challenge, especially as it is very easy to make a mistake there and have an accident. Having said this, it is one of the highlights of the season.

"My only worry there is the circuit doesn't match up to the current high safety standards demanded in Formula One. We should be well prepared, especially after the work done in Valencia."

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