JANUARY 21, 2001

I'd take pay-cut to race in F1 - says Montoya

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA admits he would race in Formula One for half the money than what he was earning in America.

The Colombian driver could have earned more than his £6 million salary by staying in the Champ Car series in the United States.

But Montoya is desperate to show his skills in Formula One and admits he would race for half the money.

Speaking to British Sunday newspaper News of the World he said: "I'm not coming to Formula One for the cash.

"I race because I love it. It is my passion to race, my passion to win and push cars to their limits.

"I would race for half the money I'm getting. If it was just about money I would not be in Formula One now. I could have earned a lot more by staying in America."

Williams team-boss Frank Williams was so stunned by his performances in the States he sold Briton Jenson Button to Benetton in order to recall his ex-test driver.

But Montoya has a lot of respect for Button and said: "I have a lot of respect for Jenson. What he did last year, in his rookie year, was really impressive."