McLaren signs Monty for 2005

McLaren has confirmed that Juan Pablo Montoya will drive for the team in 2005, ending months of speculation about the Colombian's future.

McLaren signs Monty for 2005

Montoya has driven for Williams since his entry into Formula 1 in 2001, and has scored three wins in his three seasons with the team. However, there had been mounting speculation that he had been in talks with McLaren because he was unhappy at being paid significantly less than current team-mate Ralf Schumacher.

"I am thrilled to be joining West McLaren Mercedes," said Montoya. "The team is consistently a strong World Championship contender and has a fantastic heritage. It's a great opportunity for me and I'm really looking forward to the first time I will be able to drive one of their cars. To join them is an amazing challenge and experience which I plan to fully enjoy.

"However, my short term aim is to concentrate 100 percent on winning the 2004 World Championshp."

McLaren is to confirm its full 2005 driver line-up at a later date, but it is almost certain that Montoya will team with Finnish ace Kimi Raikkonen, leaving David Coulthard out of a drive. The team has confirmed that it will continue to run Raikkonen and Coulthard next season, despite reports that McLaren tried to sign Montoya for next season, but couldn't agree on terms with Williams.

"We want to win races and World Championships, and in order to do so we have to plan for the future whilst applying every effort in the short term," said McLaren boss Ron Dennis. "The opportunity to sign a talent like Juan Pablo was too good to miss, and there is already a considerable amount of anticipation within our team about 2005.

"We are certainly looking forward to seeing what he can do in one of our cars and I believe that it's a prospect that can't fail to excite Formula 1 fans around the world."

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McLaren Confirm Montoya for 2005
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