Montoya To Williams Deal Official
September 21, 2000 | 12:00 A.M. EST
After months of speculation, the BMW Williams team announced today that Juan Pablo Montoya will be Ralf Schumacher’s teammate next year in Formula One. Montoya signed a two-year contract with the team.
Montoya, 24, is the defending CART and Indianapolis 500 champion. In 1999, his rookie year in CART, he won a record seven races. He became the youngest champion of the FedEx Championship Series and joined Nigel Mansell as the only rookie to win the championship title
Before arriving at Target/Chip Ganassi, Montoya spent several years in Europe. He was the European F3000 Champion in 1998, finishing on the podium nine times and wining four of the 12-races. He was also the official test driver for the Winfield Williams Formula One team.
A native of Bogota, Colombia, Montoya began racing karts when he was five. His first ever outing in a Formula 1 car was on Dec. 1, 1997, as the WilliamsF1 test driver. Montoya accumulated more than 8,000 kilometers of test mileage at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona until his departure to North America at the end of 1998.
Montoya will replace current Williams driver Jenson Button, who was loaned to Benetton earlier this summer. He will make his Williams debut on December 1 when official testing will begin for the 2001 F1 season.