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JULY 29, 2003

Montoya and McLaren

Although McLaren and Williams are busy denying or refusing to comment on stories that Juan Pablo Montoya is in heavy negotiation with McLaren about moving to the team in 2004 or 2005, there is not doubt that action is taking place. Montoya is understood to feel that Williams prefers Ralf Schumacher (an odd idea given that Williams does not appear to be particularly keen on either of its drivers at the moment) and there are suggestions from within the team that Montoya is seen as being prone to mistakes and a little too lazy and reliant on his natural talent. There is also the question of money as Montoya is paid considerably less than Ralf Schumacher and Williams is not interested in upping the salary next year.

McLaren seems to have moved away from the idea of keeping Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard. The Scotsman has had a run of poor qualifying performances and so has not been able to score the kind of results which are needed by the team in the battle with Ferrari and Williams to win the World Championship. Raikkonen and Montoya would certainly be an impressive driver line-up although both men still have to prove that they have World Championship potential.