Atlas F1 News Service

Montoya Bids to Challenge Ferrari and McLaren

Monday February 26th, 2001

As his Formula One debut approaches, BMW-Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya is already setting his sights high for the 2001 season.

Montoya, who replaced Jenson Button at the team over the winter, is bidding to challenge Ferrari and McLaren in his maiden year as a Grand Prix racer.

He concedes that the team might not be able to challenge for the championship yet, but Montoya said that will not stop him trying to beat the top two teams.

"This team is currently on the crest of a wave and while we may not be contesting for the championship this season, we will certainly be aiming to take some spoils away from Ferrari and McLaren - that's the plan anyway," said Montoya.

"Melbourne cannot come soon enough for me. I have been working hard over the winter and now it's finally time to go racing."

Montoya will be boosted by the fact that his team-mate Ralf Schumacher achieved a third place finish in Melbourne last year. As Montoya looks forward to the first practice on Friday, Schumacher had one word of advice for his colleague.

Schumacher said: "On Friday the surface of the track is very dirty. You have to be careful, not to spin off. But I feel good travelling to Australia because of our ever-improving form."

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