Montoya says 2005 Indy farce would not have happened on new layout
|By Mark Glendenning||Friday, May 9th 2014, 08:54 GMT|
Juan Pablo Montoya believes that the farcical 2005 US Grand Prix would have been avoided if Formula 1 had raced on the Indianapolis road course used by IndyCar this weekend.
F1's visit to the track descended into chaos in 2005 when Michelin discovered that its tyres could not safely tolerate the loads generated on the banked section of the track.
All 14 Michelin-shod drivers, including Montoya, were forced to withdraw at the end of the parade lap, leaving the race to be fought out between the six Bridgestone-equipped Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi entries.
The revised track layout mirrors the section of banking that serves as Turn 2 on the oval without actually using it, and Montoya is confident that the same configuration would have delivered a good grand prix in 2005.
"Absolutely," the Penske driver told AUTOSPORT. "I think F1 would have been really good here.
"They've done a really good job [with the track]. "The straights are really long, and they've gotten rid of the banking.
"You can still draft and pass people, so it's a nice compromise. All those little hairpins are gone.
"The first and second corners are very similar to how they were in F1, then the back straight is longer.
"The left-hander at the end of the straight is just as slow as it was in F1, but then it's followed by a couple of esses that are kind of weird; they've got a lot of rhythm to them."
Montoya said that he is still surprised that efforts by the Michelin teams to find a compromise with the FIA that would have allowed the full F1 grid to race in Indianapolis nine years ago were rejected.
"It was crazy," he said. "Back then, we told the FIA to put a chicane in and we'd race, even if we didn't score points.
"We just wanted to put on a show for the fans. But they just said, 'you brought the wrong tyres, your fault'.
"They have a bit of a different approach [in F1] to here."
The F1 configuration of the Indianapolis road course remained in use until 2008, after which the US Grand Prix took a three-year sabbatical before rejoining the world championship at Circuit of the Americas in Austin in 2012.