Dennis Voices Support for Montoya

Juan Pablo Montoya has been given a vote of support from team boss Ron Dennis, despite appearing to have been overshadowed by teammate Kimi Raikkonen for much of the season

Dennis Voices Support for Montoya

Although Montoya has won two races this season, including last weekend's Italian Grand Prix, both those triumphs came after Raikkonen was thwarted by 10-place grid penalties.

Dennis is adamant, however, that Montoya is performing as well as Raikkonen and that only now is the Colombian feeling confident enough in the car to be able to show what he can do.

"I think he has the same amount of confidence as Kimi," said Dennis, well aware of the impact that the shoulder injury Montoya suffered earlier in the season has had on the campaign.

"His accident definitively slowed down the speed at which he got as confident as he is now. Irrespective of how the accident happened, which is always immaterial to me, he was always conscious that it wasn't a particularly good thing for him or us.

"It wasn't just a case of coming back; it was going through the pain barrier, getting up the speed, earning back some brownie points and getting the job done. And that's where he is now."

Montoya has welcomed Dennis's support, and claims that he does not believe that he is being outclassed by his teammate.

"I don't feel inferior to Raikkonen, because if he's been unlucky on many occasions, I also haven't had an easy season," said Montoya in Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday.

"I found myself driving a car built around my teammate who prefers it leaning towards understeer, exactly the opposite to what I like.

"Only with time have I managed to modify it, even though it isn't yet 100 percent to my tastes."

Montoya backs Dennis' view that the shoulder injury he suffered from earlier in the season delayed him getting up to speed with McLaren.

"I lost two races and I came back in Spain when I still wasn't in perfect shape," he said. "I did it otherwise I would have had to qualify last in Monte Carlo, and I wasn't still at my best.

"Only now I started getting some satisfaction. It is a shame, because the fight for the title for me ended before starting."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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