Montoya to drive for McLaren-Mercedes
17 November 2003 , STUTTGART - The McLaren-Mercedes Formula One team confirmed Monday that Juan Pablo Montoya will join the British-German outfit for the 2005 season.
17 November 2003
STUTTGART - The McLaren-Mercedes Formula One team confirmed Monday that Juan Pablo Montoya will join the British-German outfit for the 2005 season.
"We want to win races and world championships, and in order to do so we have to plan for the future whilst applying every effort in the short term," said McLaren boss Ron Dennis.
"The opportunity to sign a talent like Juan Pablo was too good to miss, and there is already a considerable amount of anticipation within our team about 2005."
The BMW-Williams driver finished third in this year's championship behind probable future teammate Kimi Raikkonen of McLaren and Ferrari's Michael Schumacher.
"Juan Pablo has achieved a considerable amount of success in his career and we are certain that he will add to this with Team McLaren Mercedes," concluded Denis.
"We are certainly looking forward to seeing what he can do in one of our cars and I believe that its a prospect that can't fail to excite Formula One fans around the world."
The 28-year-old Colombian, who has registered three victories and 11 pole positions in his F1 career to date, said he was "thrilled" at the move.
"The team is consistently a strong world championship contender and has a fantastic heritage," said Montoya.
"Its a great opportunity for me and I'm really looking forward to the first time I will be able to drive one of their cars. To join them is an amazing challenge and experience which I plan to fully enjoy."
Montoya will still fulfil his contract and race for Williams in the 2004 season alongside Ralf Schumacher while McLaren will line up, as in 2003, with Raikkonen and Scotland's David Coulthard.
Williams teammate Schumacher said it was a pity Montoya was leaving the team.
"It's a big pity that Juan Pablo is leaving the team in 2005," said the 28-year-old German. "It doesn't change things for 2004 though. We'll both be going full throttle and the quicker of the two of us will be driving for the world title."
BMW Motorsport Director, Mario Theissen, said Montoya's decision would not affect how he will be treated by the team next season.
"It goes without saying that both drivers will get the same materials and the same level of support," said Theissen.
Subject: German news