Montoya pushes too hard in South Africa

FEBRUARY 9, 2001

Montoya pushes too hard in South Africa

FORMULA ONE rookie Juan Pablo Montoya damaged his Williams FW23 when he suffered an off-track excursion in testing at Kyalami on Friday.

The Colombian driver was having problems setting up the car to his liking, and he was forced to end his day early.

"I have been struggling with the car set-up," said Montoya. "In the afternoon, I put new tires on the car, and this affected the balance which eventually caused me to go off the circuit and damage the front wing."

Patrick Head, Williams technical director, said Montoya has been struggling compared to his new team-mate Ralf Schumacher.

"We had a few problems with Juan Pablo," said Head. "But we hope to get his car fixed and back on the track for him on Saturday."

The BAR-Honda of Olivier Panis completed a massive 110 laps on its way to recording the fastest time of the three runners at Kyalami on Friday, while the two Williams cars did as many laps between them as the lone BAR.

Times from Friday's testing at Kyalami:

Olivier Panis BAR-Honda 1:21.622
Ralf Schumacher BMW Williams 1:22.062
Juan Pablo Montoya BMW Williams 1:22.494