Interview: Montoya Targets Repeat Win at Monza

The unopened winner's magnum of champagne from last year's Italian Grand Prix still ranks as one of Juan Pablo Montoya's prized possessions.

Interview: Montoya Targets Repeat Win at Monza

The unopened winner's magnum of champagne from last year's Italian Grand Prix still ranks as one of Juan Pablo Montoya's prized possessions.

The Colombian keeps it safe as a Formula One rarity, its contents unsprayed after a debut win at Monza darkened by the September 11 attacks on America.

"In a way it's bad but in another way, you know, I got the bottle," grinned Montoya in an interview at Brands Hatch during a sponsorship appearance for Reuters. "When was the last time somebody has got a full bottle from a win? I got it in my house, I haven't opened it. It's worth quite a lot."

This weekend the Williams driver returns to Monza, without a victory since that race but hoping to celebrate with a traditional champagne shower from the top of the podium at last.

Since last September, Montoya has come no closer than second place - in Japan at the end of last season and four times this year in total. He believes that this year's Italian Grand Prix may not prove quite the Ferrari party that the World Champions and record-breaking Michael Schumacher are hoping for.

"I think the best chance we've got this year to win a race is this next one," he said. "We looked quite competitive in the test compared with Ferrari, so there's pretty decent hopes for it."

Mental Turmoil

Montoya, who has started six of the 14 races this season from pole, stood out at Monza last year for his determination to race when others wavered.

Schumacher, recalling the strain and mental turmoil, recalled that he would rather have been anywhere than racing. The German eventually finished fourth, the last time he has been off the podium. But Montoya was not having anything taking away from his moment of triumph.

"I think I would have won that race regardless," he said on Tuesday. "Even with nothing in the background, I think I had the pace to win the race. I think it was tough for everybody, including myself. But I believe that when you are in the car and in the job, you've got to concentrate and do it.

"I remember (Austrian) Gerhard (Berger) in Hockenheim, he won the weekend after his father died," he added. "He put the car on pole and won the race by miles...he was probably pushing more, was more determined to do well."

Montoya said he had been unlucky this season, chances evaporating in Malaysia, Brazil and Canada.

"Last year I had a competitive car to win races but I was very unlucky this year," he said. "I think I could have won more than one race this year but could have and would have doesn't count."

Borrowed Time

Schumacher said recently that he had come to like the 'hidden' Montoya, the man sometimes seen as his bitter foe, and the Colombian agreed that their rivalry was overblown in the media.

"Behind the driver there's always a person," he said. "We (Schumacher and himself) had a dinner together after Nurburgring and we had a chat and it was quite good."

That said, the rivalry on the track remains unabated and Montoya warned Ferrari not to count on their dominance lasting for too much longer. The Italian team have won 12 out of 14 races with Schumacher clinching a record 10 in a single season.

"If I sit down in a press conference the first question they are going to ask me is 'When do you think you can beat Michael, when do you think you can stop Ferrari?'" said Montoya. "It's simple. As soon as we get a car quick enough to beat them, we'll beat them. And that's it.

"It will happen. Probably next year or the year after, it will happen, you'll see. Ferrari five years ago was a car that used to qualify 10th on the grid."

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