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Traction control offers no advantage - Montoya

COLOMBIAN driver Juan Pablo Montoya is confident he will make an impression in his first season in Formula One with BMW-Williams this year and said that the coinciding introduction of traction control into the sport will make no difference to his performance.

Montoya feels that BMW-Williams have the resources and skill to produce and use a traction control system as well as or even better than their rivals.

He has also tested the team's new BMW V10 engine and is pleased with the progress he has made so far after two recent tests at Jerez.

"It's the same as anything," said Montoya. "Even with traction control, if you develop a better system than anyone else then you'll have an advantage.

"McLaren and Ferrari seem to take up a step every year, but BMW will be in its second season and we have a lot of new things coming as well. I drove with the new engine a few days ago and it's a step forward."

Montoya is eager to get started this season and believes that Williams and BMW will be more than ready by the time the Australian Grand Prix arrives in March.

"We've got through a lot of work in testing, and it's all gone very well. I know we need to keep improving the car and I have to keep improving myself.

"At the moment, we don't know exactly where we stand against Ferrari and McLaren, so it's hard to say how fast we'll be. It's all very exciting."

Contrary to public opinion, the Colombian believes that the new Michelin tires that Williams will use can boost his team's chances next season.

He added: "Michelin doesn't want to come into F1 and simply match Bridgestone - they want to come in, go past them and try to blow them away. And if that happens, and we're the top Michelin team, that would be really good for us. Every time we test, the tires are much better."

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