JANUARY 26, 2006
Juan-Pablo goes shopping
Juan Pablo Montoya has told the German magazine Auto Motot und Sport that he is shopping around for a drive in 2007. The Colombian has a contract with McLaren until the end of 2006. There are rumours that the team had an option on Montoya for 2007 and beyond but did not take this up when the deadline came up recently. Montoya says that he will stay at McLaren if the team wants him but he is aware that Fernando Alonso is joining the team in 2007 and that McLaren and Mercedes sources are both saying that Kimi Raikkonen may yet stay. If that were to happen, Montoya would be out of a drive anyway.
Montoya is talking to a variety of teams about the long-term future and told the magazine that if he gets an offer from Ferrari, Renault or BMW he will take it. The big question is whether he will get an offer from these teams as his F1 career to date has been a great disappointment, despite his obvious speed. Last year was turned upside-down by a self-induced injury either from playing tennis or riding motorcycles (depending on who you wish to believe) and that put him at a disadvantage to Raikkonen. It will be interesting to see how the two men do this year but it is fair to say that in F1 circles there are not that many people expecting to see Juan-Pablo beating Kimi in the World Championship.
However, there is clearly an enormous talent there if Montoya can get all the ducks in a row.
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