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Chip Ganassi says split with Juan Pablo Montoya was best for both

Juan Pablo Montoya with Chip Ganassi

Chip Ganassi believes that both his team and Juan Pablo Montoya have benefited from the split that led to the Colombian's return to IndyCar with rival Team Penske this year.

Montoya raced with Ganassi in NASCAR from the time he left Formula 1 midway through 2006 through to the end of 2013, when it was announced that his contract with the team would not be renewed.

His NASCAR seat was taken by rising star Kyle Larson, who earned his second Cup podium of the year at New Hampshire recently, while Montoya picked up the first win since his single-seater comeback at Pocono two weeks ago.

"I think we got a little dull there [with Montoya in NASCAR]," Ganassi said. "It was the best thing for both of us to move on.

"We love the job Larson's doing. He's a good young guy, he wants to drive as much as he can, and he's used to doing 110 races a year, coming from sprint cars.

"So doing 70 this year is kind of a break. He's a great kid. We're honoured to have the guy, and we think he has a big future in the sport."

Ganassi said that the task that Montoya faced in getting back up to speed in an IndyCar after such a long absence should not be underestimated, particularly in light of the changes to the technical package since he won the CART title as a rookie in 1999.

"It's obviously a different series," he said. "It's a different time for him, it's a different time for the series, a different time for the cars.

"I would suggest that the only thing that's the same since he was last here is probably the size of the tyres. Everything else has changed, so it's a tall order."

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