MARCH 21, 2001
Montoya limited only by his car
FORMER CART star Juan Pablo Montoya believes the most important factor in Grand Prix racing is the car, and the driver can only drive it to its own limit.
He believes that if a driver does not have a car capable of winning, then he cannot aim for victory, but he will be taking pleasure in the fact Williams is getting ever closer to becoming that winning car he is looking for.
"If the best I think the car can do is 12th then that is what I am aiming for," said Montoya. "And if the car can win, then that is what I am going to aim for - to be first."
But his optimism is increasing after the Williams team's impressive performance in Malaysia, and he may soon have a car to do the job.
Team technical director Patrick Head believes Williams are on the up, and has already begun to compare the team with top squad Ferrari.
"I think the Ferrari has a bit more downforce than us at the moment, and we will have to see how much benefit that brings them in the races," said Head.
Montoya managed to pull his FW23 up to sixth on the grid in Malaysia but was unable to show its potential in the race after spinning out in the wet on lap four.
But disappointments like that are expected. They serve only to drive him further towards his realistic goals, and he does not mind when things go wrong.
"I am not too bothered," said Montoya. "Last year in CART with Toyota I think I finished only five races out of 21."
But with a truly competitive and seemingly reliable Williams team, he will surely be hoping for more in Formula One, and when his car proves it can win, he hopes he will be the man driving it.