Tuesday May 1st, 2001
BMW-Williams technical director Patrick Head is delighted with the performances of his team's driver Juan Pablo Montoya as the name Jenson Button seems to be forgotten in the Grove-based factory.
Montoya replaced Button at the start of the season amid a blaze of publicity and criticism but whilst Button struggled at the back of the grid with his new team Benetton, Montoya has also suffered from a large slice of bad luck.
Despite impressive performances the Colombian star has only just secured his first finish with a podium place in Spain, and Head praised the driver when he finally made it past the chequered flag.
"He has been having a bit of a rough ride this year," said Head of Montoya's lack of fortune since his Grand Prix debut in Australia. "None of it has been his own making.
"He was beginning to feel that nothing would go right for him, but from 12th on the grid to finish second in Spain - you can't really complain about that."
Montoya has produced impressive performances all season and was on course to win the Brazilian Grand Prix when shunted out of the race by the Arrows of Jos Verstappen. The feeling from the Williams team is that Montoya can continue to eclipse Button's impressive performances last season and can even win a race, but he must work on improving his poor performances in qualifying.
Head added: "He is not a sixth row man on the grid and we have got to sort that bit out. But it was a very good run in Spain."