Thursday April 12th, 2001
Colombian sensation Juan Pablo Montoya has warned his Formula One rivals, saying there's a still a lot to come from him this season following an impressive start in 2001.
25-year old Montoya, making his Grand Prix debut this year with the BMW-Williams team, has impressed with his pace in the first three races of the season, and he came close to winning the Brazilian Grand Prix after taking the lead from world champion Michael Schumacher.
Montoya admits he enjoys the fact that many people is considering him a likely race winner this year.
"I think it is pretty good, to be honest," Montoya said. "I canít complain. I think it was a bit of a surprise for everybody, including myself.
"I was expecting through the year to get better and better and definitely still think there is a lot more to come, and a lot more to learn.
"You canít really say at this point that you can maximise everything after three races. I still make loads of mistakes, there are still places to improve. One of the biggest things, for example, is the braking. You can say is quite good, but with these cars if you make a little mistake it costs you a lot of time and it is quite tough really."
Howeber, the pass over Schumacher at Interlagos has created big expectations and has put a lot of pressure on Montoya, who tried to play down the move.
"Itís quite funny really, itís quite surprising," admitted Montoya. "I think passing Michael Schumacher was a good move, but I think there have always been moves better than this that maybe people have never seen on TV.
"The pressure on me is big because I passed Michael, and what he is for the people is huge. He knows what he is doing and has a lot of experience, but I think what my move shows is that there can be some drivers capable of winning as well as beating Michael.
"I always push, push really hard and am not keen on giving anything away. If I have a chance of winning I am going to take it really. The speed is there but I need to learn to maximise.
"I think one of the things I need to learn is to qualify using the four runs. The first two races I didn't try hard enough and the third one I tried a little too hard!"