Do you want to post a tribute about your favourite retired drivers, perhaps you want to discuss the rantings of the MIT (men in tweed). They thought they were safer when they retired, perhaps not mumblers!! How about a tribute to those that are not drivers but still in the game?

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Postby mito » Tue 20 Feb, 2007 6:45 pm

Juan Pablo Montoya Roldán (born September 20, 1975 in Bogotá, Colombia) is a racing driver from Colombia. He is a former Formula One driver who is now pursuing a NASCAR career with Chip Ganassi Racing, for whom he raced for in CART. He was born in Bogotá where he was taught the techniques of karting from an early age by his father Pablo, an architect and motorsport enthusiast. He has enjoyed great success, most famously in top open wheel racing series.

The highlights of his career include an International F3000 title, a world title in the CART Championship Series, and victories in some of the most prestigious races in the world. He is the only driver to have ever won the premier north American open-wheel CART title, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Daytona, all at first attempt. Montoya remains one of the only two drivers to have ever won the CART title in his rookie year, the other driver being Nigel Mansell, and has equalled the feat of Graham Hill of being a Monaco Grand Prix and Indy500 race winner. Montoya has also become a crossover race winner by taking victories in Formula One cars, Champcars, IndyCars and Grand-Am Prototype cars.

Early career

Montoya moved to the Copa Formula Renault Series in 1992. The same year, he also participated in a U.S. series operated by Skip Barber. 1993 saw Montoya switch to the Swift GTI Championship, a series he dominated by winning seven of eight races. The following year, 1994, was a very busy year for the 19-year-old Colombian, as it saw him race in three separate series: the Sudam 125 Karting, USA Barber Saab, and Formula N in Mexico (a series in which he won the title). As his success continued year after year, Montoya came to be known for his uncanny ability to win pole positions (as well as races), in some cases taking 80% of a season's poles. For the next three years, Montoya raced in various divisions, continually progressing upward. He raced in the 1995 British Formula Vauxhall Championship, and in the 1996 British Formula 3, as well as taking part in events in Zandvoort, Netherlands and at Silverstone.

Entry into top open-wheel series

As a youngster resident in Austria Juan Pablo Montoya struggled to save enough money for his basic needs. At this stage of his life he recalls having no money even for public transport; instead he used roller blades to go from one place to another. Retirement from motorsport seemed likely, but a call to take part in the 1997 Formula 3000 season was the blessing he was praying for. He finished second in the championship in his rookie season, The Williams Formula One team noticed his potential, and signed him to a multi-year testing contract from 1998. Alongside his Formula One testing duties for Williams he competed again in F3000 and took the title in a close contest with Nick Heidfeld.

CART career

Renault, Williams engine supplier for most of the 1990s, left Formula One at the end of the 1997 season. With no major engine suppliers available, Williams were forced to sign a contract to run customer engines for the 1998 and 1999 seasons. In 1998 the team failed to win a race for the first time in a decade. For the 1999 season, in the hope of attracting more investors to the underperforming team, Frank Williams agreed a driver swap with CART team owner Chip Ganassi, in which Ganassi's 1997 and 1998 CART champion driver, Alessandro Zanardi, would return to Formula One and Montoya would take his place in the competitive American series.

While Zanardi had a miserable year in Formula One, Montoya, with Honda power and a great Reynard chassis at his disposal, took the American motorsport scene by storm. He took the 1999 title in his rookie year, something accomplished six years earlier by former Formula One Champion, Nigel Mansell.

The season that saw Montoya crowned as the youngest ever CART FedEx Championship Series Champion at the age of 24 was closely fought, especially with Dario Franchitti who led the championship going into the final race in California. Both drivers finished the season with equal number of points but having won seven races to the Scotsman's three decided the title in the Colombian's favor. Montoya's tally of wins, pole positions and fastest laps meant that he was considered the fastest driver in a series which lacked electronic aids such as traction control, adaptive suspension or automatic gearboxes. However, the CART rookie also attracted criticism - notably from Michael Andretti and his team - for his aggressive style of driving.

Montoya still had a contractual relationship with Williams and after his impressive rookie season the Grove-based team were keen for him to drive for them in Formula One. However, the young Colombian decided to race in the US for one more year.

In 2000 the Ganassi team switched to Toyota engines and Lola chassis. The package was strong for ovals and high speed tracks, but was less well suited to street and most road circuits. Toyota’s engines were not yet reliable and often failed the team. Despite this, Montoya led more laps than anyone else and took the maiden victory for a Toyota engine in the series. He was also the most popular driver, but in a season where he failed to finish more than 60% of races he was out of contention for the championship.

That season the Ganassi team also competed in the prestigious Indianapolis 500 race, part of the rival Indy Racing League series. Media and drivers were critical of the way Juan Pablo approached the Brickyard, many IRL drivers labelled him as reckless and predicted an early retirement from the race. The media activity around the event was intense, with Montoya and his CART teammate Jimmy Vasser being the first CART drivers to "cross-over" to drive in the Indy 500. Despite public warnings from two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser, Jr. claiming that if a driver doesn't respect the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the place "will bite you - hard" Montoya shrugged off the advice claiming that all four corners were exactly the same and that the track required less attention than the road courses in the CART series and in European racing.

In the event, the Colombian star led 167 of 200 laps and claimed top honours at the end of the 500 mile race, taking an easy victory on his first attempt. He was the first to do so since Formula One World Champion Graham Hill in 1966 and was the first Colombian winner. His compatriot Roberto José Guerrero had previously finished twice as runner up.

Formula 1 career

Over the weekend of the 2000 Indianapolis 500, BMW.Williams announced a two year deal for Montoya to partner Ralf Schumacher starting in 2001. His entrance was very much anticipated by the Formula One community due to the talent and raw speed showed in the America's based series.

Montoya showed great potential from the beginning. Critics and fans alike anticipated that he would challenge for the World Drivers Championship. During the first half of his Formula One career he consolidated his position as a fast driver and a race win challenger and also became a title contender during 2003 but the hopes of fighting for the title gradually faded as stronger and more consistent challengers arrived on the scene.

Montoya has been criticized during his Formula One career for his unreliability and tendency to make costly mistakes. His driving style is too characteristic of the 80's Formula One era. In this matter it is difficult to build a car that suits him well as engineers and aerodynamicists have adapted their work to build chassis that are more appropriate to a more fine and soft, and perhaps less live, driving style.

Entering his sixth season, in 2006, it was evident that Juan Pablo Montoya had not developed into the title contender that racing fans and the media had predicted. In particular after five full seasons the necessary consistency never materialised. However, he often challenged for race victories and was voted top Latin American driver at the Premios Fox Sports awards in 2003 and 2005[1][2]

2001 - Williams

Montoya made his Formula One debut for the BMW-powered Williams team in the 2001 Formula One season at the Australian Grand Prix. Less than a month later, he shocked Michael Schumacher — and the F1 world — in Brazil by overtaking the World Champion in a daring move. Montoya was on course to win the race when backmarker Jos Verstappen collided with him. Verstappen claimed he did brake earlier than normal. Two races later, the diffuser of the Williams was forbidden by the FIA as it was said to kill the downforce of cars behind. In his first season in Formula One Montoya established himself as a natural racer and a favorite with fans and commentators. Although Williams struggled with reliability that year — Montoya only finished six races — he nevertheless won three pole positions and stood on the podium four times, including his maiden Formula One victory at the 2001 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.


In the 2002 Formula One season, Montoya was the best of the rest as Ferrari's dominance left available no better place than third. Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello won 15 of 17 races. Although, unlike Coulthard and his team mate Ralf Schumacher, he did not win a race, Montoya was one of the few drivers to compete with Schumacher on the track. As in 2001, he stood out for his forceful overtaking moves on the World Champion, although several times he lost places through clashing with the German. For qualifying the BMW WilliamsF1 FW24 could be set up to use its tires more effectively than its rivals and generate more grip. With this weapon Montoya was able to win seven pole positions, usually in the very last seconds of the session. He set the fastest ever lap for a Grand Prix during the qualifying session of the 2002 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.


Although the 2003 chassis was built by the team specifically for Montoya's driving style, the machine needed time to be developed. Problems with oversteer were still present, often resulting in 360º spins in front of the crowd, in addition to reliability problems with the BMW engine.

From the Monaco Grand Prix the FW25 proved to be the class of the field, allowing Montoya to take victory at Circuit de Monaco from Kimi Räikkönen. Although this newly revamped design had proven successful, Williams often made mistakes, failing to find a correct setup and Montoya gained a poor reputation for setting up a Formula One car. In addition, Ralf Schumacher had a better relationship with the team, especially with the sporting director, which resulted in several in-race advantages for the German. During the 2003 French Grand Prix, after a misunderstanding with the pit crew, there was a vocal exchange of expletives between the Colombian and his team. This was followed by a formal letter of reprimand from the BMW Williams F1 team.[citation needed] McLaren Mercedes announced that they would take on his racing services from 2005 at and end of season announcement, although it was believed that Montoya had already decided to leave immediately after the French GP.

Bad luck for rivals and excellent on-track performances from the Colombian meant he was a title contender, particularly after a key victory at the German Grand Prix. Williams, however, were unable to keep pace with the latest developments from Ferrari. Montoya failed to claim another victory that year. A drive-through penalty at the United States Grand Prix after a collision with Ferrari's Barrichello ended his title chances in the last race he would finish in 2003.


2004 was a disappointing year for Montoya. His relationship with the team was strained throughout the season since both parties knew he would be leaving for the McLaren team at the end of the year.

Early season promise faded as the radical looking ‘tusked’ Williams FW26 initially lacked pace and both drivers were frequently left struggling to score points. However, the car was significantly overhauled during the season and the radical nose designed by a former Ferrari aerodynamicist was finally replaced with a more conventional one for the final stages of the season. Montoya left the team on a high note by winning his last race with them, the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix, which was closely contested with future team mate Kimi Räikkönen.

The opening race in Australia was marred by an incident when during a pre-race press conference and corporate day Juan Pablo Montoya stormed out and neglected his media and sponsor commitments after taking offence to some irreverent questions by Australian comedians Ash & Luttsy.

2005 - McLaren

After driving for Williams for four full seasons, Montoya found the McLaren Mercedes car unpredictable, often claiming it felt like the steering wheel was not "attached" to the rest of the car.

Having been criticised in previous years for his lack of fitness, Montoya began a training program under the direction of McLaren personnel but all the effort was lost when, just after the Malaysian Grand Prix, he injured his shoulder while in Spain. The official reason given to media was that he had injured himself whilst playing tennis. However, rumors stated that a motorcycle accident was the real cause. After missing two Grands Prix he made an early return before he was completely healed. In fact he was often seen with his arm almost motionless for the remaining five Grands Prix even while in the paddock for the British GP.

In practice for the Monaco Grand Prix Montoya was penalized to start from the back by race stewards for brake-testing his former Williams team mate, Ralf Schumacher, causing a four car collision. At the Canadian Grand Prix Montoya was on course for a win, but he was disqualified after leaving the pitlane under a red light. As a Michelin runner, Montoya did not start the US Grand Prix (see 2005 US Grand Prix). The Colombian was on track for a possible win at Magny-Cours when his suspension failed. He retired from the lead of the Hungarian GP due to a broken driveshaft. His team mate had a similar failure 8 GP before, which shows the differences in suspension geometry between both McLaren's as the torsional forces are carried out in different manner.

During the year Montoya suffered even more from oversteer than he had at Williams. On several occasions he spun during practice. More seriously he spun in his return from injury at the Spanish Grand Prix and most notoriously at the last corner during qualifying for the German Grand Prix. On that occasion he made up for it by climbing from 20th to 8th after the first two corners eventually finishing in a respectable 2nd.

Montoya worked with the team during the year to identify suspension geometry and aerodynamic problems that were making the car unpredictable. It is said that he helped the team to improve the car a lot, benefiting both himself and his team mate.

He had to learn how to cope with a very nervous and 'oversteery' car, in these conditions and after bad luck for his team mate, he scored his first victory for McLaren Mercedes in the British GP and in the same conditions at Monza.

For most of the season Montoya's major concerns were the ongoing problems with backmarkers and team orders. Both Tiago Monteiro and Antônio Pizzonia collided with him, as had Jos Verstappen in 2001, and Jacques Villeneuve forced him off the track in one of the final races of the year. These incidents prevented Montoya from completing his main task for the team; stopping Fernando Alonso and Renault F1 from increasing their lead in the standings over Räikkönen and McLaren respectively.

In the final stages of the season it was clear that Montoya and his car were finally adapted to one another. The Colombian has often attributed this to the greater effort made by the McLaren Mercedes Team than by Williams to tune the car to his driving style. At the Brazilian GP, Montoya led home McLaren's first 1-2 result in years, ahead of newly crowned world champion Fernando Alonso in third. It was his last finish of the year. In Japan he made contact with Jacques Villeneuve on lap one, while in China a loose drain cover rose up and hit his car, damaging the suspension.

Throughout the 2005 season Räikkönen was clearly the team's unofficial number one. On many occasions, mistakes by Montoya helped the Renault team and strengthened Alonso's chances of championship over Räikkönen.


Montoya started his 2006 Formula 1 World Championship campaign learning that the 2005 Formula 1 Champion Fernando Alonso had been contracted by McLaren-Mercedes for the 2007 season. At the same time McLaren did not take up their option on Montoya for 2007, while his teammate Kimi Räikkönen remained a free agent.

During the first three races, Montoya consistently underperformed on the track, not managing to improve his position from the start at the Bahrain and Malaysia Grands Prix. Problems with his engine mapping also contributed, resulting in poor straight line performance.

At the Australian Grand Prix, he drove an excellent race that sadly featured a few critical mistakes. His car spun near the end of the warm-up lap, caused by too much throttle whilst warming the tyres, and if Fisichella hadn't stalled his Renault before the start of the race and triggered another formation lap, Montoya would have started at the back end of the grid. He did manage to regain his grid position though, which angered other team managers. His race ended when towards the end of the race he hit a kerb on the exit of the final corner, whilst chasing Ralf Schumacher hard for third place. The impact triggered an automatic electronic device in the McLaren MP4-21, shutting down his engine as it went into safety mode.

In the San Marino Grand Prix, Montoya was forced to use the team spare car for the qualifying session when it was learnt that his car had a fuel pressure problem. McLaren fitted his engine into the team spare car, thus saving Montoya from a 10-place grid penalty. He managed to qualify in seventh place ahead of Räikkönen. The race however was very undramatic for him and a steady performance saw him finish third, earning his first podium finish of the season.

The races at the Nürburgring and the Circuit de Catalunya, however, were very disappointing for Montoya. He qualified in 9th position for the European Grand Prix but then was stuck behind traffic for almost the whole race before his engine failed a few laps from the end. Catalunya saw Montoya failing to qualify in the Top 10 for the first time in the season. He qualified 12th in an underperforming McLaren. He was heavily fuelled and was on a one-stop strategy for the race but he spun and his car got stuck on a kerb and his race was over. Juan Pablo had a solid race at Monaco, inheriting second place 14.5 seconds behind championship leader Fernando Alonso after Räikkönen and Mark Webber went out with engine problems on lap 50. Once again, though, he appeared to be somewhat off his team mate's pace.

The Canadian Grand Prix saw Montoya pull off a stunning overtaking move on Michael Schumacher on the opening lap, but contact with Nico Rosberg on the next lap and a mistake at the last corner resulted in Montoya bracing the wall and damaging the car, leading to retirement.

The US Grand Prix also brought further disappointment to Montoya's season. An 8-car crash on the first corner saw him retire from the race, yet again taking no points. This crash also involved team-mate Räikkönen, and as one of the main instigators of the crash, this cast further doubt upon Montoya's future in Formula 1.

Montoya's Formula 1 career effectively came to an end on 9 July when he announced in a public press conference from the US that he had signed a contract to run in the NASCAR series from 2007. On 11 July 2006, McLaren-Mercedes announced that Montoya would stop racing for the team with immediate effect, to enable him to prepare for his future career and take time out with his family. This ultimately confirmed Montoya's exit from F1. However, in the press conference on July 14 at the French Grand Prix, Ron Dennis stated that Montoya was still under contract with McLaren-Mercedes and he would remain in contract with the team until the expiration of the deal. Following further speculation that he could start racing in the NASCAR series as early as 2006, Dennis publicly offered Montoya an early exit from his contract with McLaren-Mercedes, provided that he resigned from receiving any payout to terminate his contract.


On July 9, 2006, Montoya announced his plans to compete in the NASCAR Nextel Cup series beginning with the 2007 season, racing for Chip Ganassi Racing in the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge.

On September 25, 2006, it was confirmed that a deal has been struck between the Chip Ganassi and McLaren that allowed Montoya to give closure to his contract with McLaren, and begin testing with Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates' NASCAR operation.[3] [4]

On October 6, 2006, Montoya raced in an Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) event in a Texaco/Havoline Dodge at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Montoya qualified second, led the first nine laps, and ended up finishing a credible third after the race was called after 79 of 92 laps. [5]

On October 28, 2006, Montoya made his NASCAR debut in the Busch Series Sam's Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park. He drove the #42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger to an 11th place finish, despite spinning and dropping back to 30th earlier in the race. [6] He competed in the final three races of the Busch Series season, finishing 28th at Texas [7], 20th at Phoenix [8], and 14th at Homestead [9]

On November 19, 2006, Montoya competed in his first career NEXTEL Cup race, the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway He qualified 29th in the #30 Texaco Dodge.[10] On Lap 251, after contact with the #12 Dodge of Ryan Newman, Montoya's car hit the wall and caught fire, taking him out of the race. He was unharmed, and was credited with a 34th place finish after running on the lead lap throughout the race up until that point.

On January 16, 2007, Michael Schumacher questioned why Montoya would go to NASCAR. Montoya retorted the next day that no one in Formula One had any idea just how difficult stock car racing was, and that he didn't care what Schumacher thought anyway because "Schumacher in America is nobody." [11]

On January 28, 2007, Montoya won the Daytona 24 hours with teammates Scott Pruett and Salvador Duran.

Montoya raced in the Daytona 500, the first race of the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup season on February 18th 2007. He finished in 19th position after starting 36th, complaining of handling problems with the car. [12]

He will run for Raybestos Rookie of the Year in 2007.

Career results

* 1981-1984: Karting Colombian National Champion
* 1985: National Junior Kart Championship: 2nd
* 1986-1987: Komet Category: National Champion
* 1988: Komet Category: 2nd in National Championship
* 1989: Komet Category: champion
* 1990: Kart Junior World Championship
* 1991: Kart Junior World Championship
* 1992: Colombian Formula Renault: 8 races, 4 wins, 5 poles
* 1993: GTI National Championship Tournament: 8 races, 7 wins, 7 poles
* 1994: Sudan 125 karting: champion

Barber Saab series: 3rd, 2 wins, 2 poles
Mexican 'N' series: 5 races, 3 wins, 4 poles

* 1995: Formula Vauxhall, England: 3rd (Paul Stewart Racing)

Bogotá Six Hours: class winner

* 1996: F3, England: 5th, 2 wins, 1 pole (Fortec)

Marlboro Masters: 4th
Macau GP: ret
ITC: 16th, 1 race (Mercedes-Benz)
Bogotá Six Hours: winner

* 1997: F3000: 2nd, 37.5 points, 3 wins (RSM Marko)
* 1998: F3000: 1st, 65 points, 4 wins, 2 poles (Super Nova)
* 1999: CART: 1st & rookie of the year, 212 points, 7 wins, 7 poles (Ganassi)
* 2000: CART: 9th, 126 points, 3 wins, 7 poles (Ganassi)

IRL: raced and won the Indy 500 (Ganassi)

* 2001: Formula 1: 6th, 31 points, 1 win, 3 poles (Williams)
* 2002: Formula 1: 3rd, 50 points, 0 wins, 7 poles (Williams)
* 2003: Formula 1: 3rd, 82 points, 2 wins, 1 pole (Williams)
* 2004: Formula 1: 5th, 58 points, 1 win, 0 poles (Williams)
* 2005: Formula 1: 4th, 60 points, 3 wins, 2 poles (McLaren)
* 2006: Formula 1: 8th, 26 points, 0 wins, 0 poles (McLaren)
* 2007: Rolex 24 at Daytona Daytona Prototype class winner and overall winner


* F3000 : 102.5 points, 7 wins, 2 poles, 1 time champion
* CART : 338 points, 10 wins, 14 poles, 1 time champion
* IRL : 54 points, 1 win, 0 poles, 1 time Indy 500 champion
* Formula 1 : 304 points, 7 wins, 13 poles, 2 times 3rd in the championship

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Re: Montoya

Postby vikki » Tue 20 Feb, 2007 7:37 pm

mito wrote:
* F3000 : 102.5 points, 7 wins, 2 poles, 1 time champion
* CART : 338 points, 10 wins, 14 poles, 1 time champion
* IRL : 54 points, 1 win, 0 poles, 1 time Indy 500 champion
* Formula 1 : 304 points, 7 wins, 13 poles, 2 times 3rd in the championship

we can take the mickey out of jpm all we like - and i cant resist myself sometimes - but there arent many drivers with a career as successful as that.
and he isnt finished yet.
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Postby mito » Tue 20 Feb, 2007 7:41 pm

Same as JV, he has an impressive CV too
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