Afraid of nobody

09. Feb 2024 
by Ziv Knoll

Juan Pablo Montoya, born 20 September 1975, is a Colombian  racing driver who has won the North American championship CART in 1999, the Indianapolis 500 in 2000 and 2015, the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2007, 2008 and 2013 and the IMSA SportsCar Championship in 2019.

He first drove in Formula One when he joined Williams in 2001 and secured his maiden victory in that year’s Italian Grand Prix. Sensation at the 2001 Brazilian Grand Prix when the safety car came in, F1 rookie Juan Pablo Montoya overtook, in a daring move at the restart, defending champion Michael Schumacher in his Ferrari, and took the lead.

By lap 39, Montoya was leading by more than 30 seconds over Michael Schumacher – very impressive for someone in only his third Grand Prix – but he was forced to retire after a crash while he was lapping Jos Verstappen (Max’s father). Verstappen let Montoya by, but as he pulled behind Montoya while braking for turn 4 his Arrows slammed violently into the back of Montoya’s Williams and both men were out of the race.

It was a big disappointment for the young Colombian, who had nevertheless showed that he wasn’t afraid of anybody, not even Michael Schumacher, as he proved for the rest of his career. Montoya went on to win 7 Formula One races, including the Monaco Grand Prix, scored 30 podiums and 13 pole positions in 94 F1 starts.

Am of the opinion that Montoya had the speed, talent and flair to become Formula One World Champion, if he had been more focused. A very nice guy, laid back and so so fast.

Source: LAT Images

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