OCTOBER 15, 2004
Montoya and the FIA
The FIA is expected to summon Juan Pablo Montoya to the next World Motor Sport Council meeting to explain his conduct in relation to a road safety campaign in Costa Rica. The story dates back a year to when Montoya was asked by the FIA to help out with its programme to convince Costa Ricans to wear seat belts. Montoya agreed but after the United States Grand Prix in 2003 when his title hopes were ruined by a controversial decision after a collision with Rubens Barrichello, Montoya cancelled his attendance. In May this year the Costa Rican government introduced the new seat belt law. According to the FIA Montoya later made a public promise to attend an event in Costa Rica but has failed to do so and the local automobile club has now complained to the FIA about the Colombian's behaviour.
While failing to honour a commitment does not cast Montoya in a very good light, the idea that taking action against a driver who voluntarily agreed to take part in a safety campaign is a rather strange move by the FIA as it will hardly encourage top line racing drivers to agree to help out in the future. The FIA says that this is not a problem and that it aims to have more driver involvement in its safety programmes in the future.
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