JUNE 9, 2001
Villeneuve and Montoya clash in Canada
CANADIAN Jacques Villeneuve had to be pulled away from Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya in a drivers' briefing on Saturday when the pair clashed following a war of words.
Villeneuve had earlier claimed that Montoya has been persistently blocking his rivals during his debut season, and after being hit by the Colombian in Friday's morning practice, Villeneuve cried enough is enough.
Canadian Villeneuve grabbed Montoya by the throat after an alleged derogatory remark from Colombian Montoya in reference to the BAR driver's part in the fatal accident that claimed the life of marshal Graham Beveridge at the Australian Grand Prix in March.
Villeneuve was unable to take part in the second practice session on Friday as mechanics had to rebuild his car following a crash shortly after the pair had a coming together in the first session.
"Juan Pablo ran into the back of me a couple of laps before the crash," said Villeneuve, who when asked if he thought the clash with Montoya had an effect on his accident, replied "who knows?"
"I really don't understand what game he (Montoya) is trying to play," said Villeneuve. "He's on a mission for something and I'll have to have a word with him.
"It seems like Juan Pablo, every time he sees someone in the mirror he slows down and stays on the line purposely. So I really don't understand what game he's trying to play."
Montoya's view of the incident was different, as he directed the blame squarely at Villeneuve.
"I looked in the mirror and he was there. I moved off line, then I got to the next chicane. I was behind him and in the exit to the chicane he stamped on the brakes," he said.
Williams team boss Frank Williams is understood to have given Montoya a dressing down after the clash with Villeneuve off the track and is believed to have warned his new driver that a repeat performance could result in his expulsion from the team.
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