FEBRUARY 13, 2004
Montoya at McLaren from a Williams point of view
Both Frank Williams and Patrick Head say that they do not see it being easy for Juan Pablo Montoya to fit into the McLaren mode of operation.
"I don't think he will fit in at McLaren," said Head. "It will be interesting. McLaren is not shy in saying how much they regard Kimi Raikkonen. Juan is a passionate character. Sometimes he makes impulsive decisions but that does not mean he can never be a World Champion. He was close to being World Champion last year. He's not perfect but I expect he will win championships in the future."
"We are sad to see him go," said Williams. "But he was uncomfortable in the team with one or two incidents. I think he and Ron Dennis will be like two bulls in a field until they learn to live with one another and then they will get back to their business, which is winning."
Head and Williams both think that Montoya's decision to leave Williams was caused by a fight between the driver and the team at the French GP.
"Some of his actions were unacceptable," said Head. "He was unhappy at what he saw as playing number two to Ralf. At the French GP he was closing up fast on Ralf just before the final pit stops and decided to come in a lap earlier than planned in order to get ahead. Straight afterwards Ralf made the same decision and Juan incorrectly thought that we had notified Ralf about what he was doing and verbally abused the team. Then he got sulky and backed off which was a mistake because later on Ralf made a mistake and if Juan had been right up there with him he might have won the race."
Head said that he believed Montoya's switch to McLaren was also based on money.
"Anyone who says they did not do it for the money is being economical with the truth," he said.
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