Montoya Focuses On Future
March 30, 2006 | 8:07 P.M. EST
For his part, Montoya is not letting discussions of the future disrupt his run for his first Formula One World Championship.
"I don’t really care to be honest. I am okay. I am focused on this year and when something comes up for next year and you are happy then you will sign the deal, wherever it is. And that’s it," said the Colombian, who sits in fifth place -- nine points behind championship leader Alonso going into this weekend’s Grand Prix of Australia, the third race of the F1 season.
"I am driving for McLaren Mercedes this year and I am going to do my best for them. It doesn’t matter."
Although it appears that Montoya may be on his way to joining his third team since leaving the Champ Car World Series in 2000, he points to the past to demonstrate his ability to focus on the task at hand.
"It is like when I was in America and I was going to move to Formula One. I signed a deal eight months before and even like that when I was there I was still pushing and doing the best I could. You know, I think we have got a good chance of winning the championship this year and you can’t waste it and I need to try and score good points at every race and when there is a chance of winning, winning."
Even with his determination and experience, it appears that both Montoya and his McLaren team continue to lag behind the team to beat, reigning Drivers and Constructor’s Champions Renault.
"I think we are a little bit behind (as far as speed), but you know it is going to be interesting to see here because we have a new engine and it is a bit of a step up and it will be interesting to see what it does. I think if the car is competitive and everything goes well, we should be able to fight them in the race. I am not sure about one lap in qualifying, but we’ll have to wait and see."
Montoya knows that if he is to remain calm, and in the process raise his stock as he looks at future possibilities, he must find a way to beat the French manufacturer from this point forward.
"The only way to beat them is to be a bit smarter than them in the race."