Atlas F1 News Service

Fittipaldi Praises 'Genius' Montoya

Wednesday May 16th, 2001

Two-time world champion Emerson Fittipaldi believes Colombian rookie Juan Pablo Montoya has the potential to become one of the greatest drivers in the history of Formula One.

Montoya, making his debut with the Williams team this season, has impressed by leading in two of the first six races of the year after challenging current world champion Michael Schumacher, also finishing in second position at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Fittipaldi, who won the World Championship back in 1972 and 1974, said Montoya will soon become one of the greatest drivers in the sport and he thinks the Colombian is a genius.

"In Formula One we had Ayrton Senna, we have Michael Schumacher, and in the future, we will have Juan Pablo Montoya," Fittipaldi told Brazilian newspaper Extra.

"Montoya is going to be the next great driver in the sport. I think we still have to wait a bit but soon we'll be able to see how far is he going to go. But I think he has the ability to become the next great driver because he is a genius."

Montoya, 25, won the F3000 championship in 1998, the American CART title in 1999 and the Indianapolis 500 in 2000 before moving to Formula One.

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