Montoya Comes Good after Qualifying Error

Juan Pablo Montoya atoned for his qualifying error by storming from the back of the grid to take second place behind Fernando Alonso in Sunday's German Grand Prix

Montoya Comes Good after Qualifying Error

The Colombian, who spun his McLaren off the track on the final corner of his qualifying lap on Saturday, said he would have won the race from pole position had it not been for that mistake.

"I think everyone wanted to kill me and I wanted to kill myself as well because I think the lap was good enough to be on pole," said the 29-year-old.

"So it was quite frustrating. But I said to the guys that I would try to make it up for them today and I did.  I think if we had started in front it would have been a win."

Montoya's performance was one bright spot in an otherwise bleak weekend for McLaren after Kimi Raikkonen was forced to retire while leading and dropped 36 points behind Alonso in the Formula One title race.

"I thought top five was possible," Montoya said. "Actually getting to the podium was a bit too much to ask. I think the first few laps helped me a lot."

Starting 20th and last on the grid, Montoya took full advantage of a chaotic start to move up the field, passing eight cars on the opening lap and making up to ninth by lap three.

"The first few laps were a bit crazy," he said. "I got about three cars straight off the line. The start wasn't good, but I made three places there and then through turns one, two and three I just poom, poom, poom, and that was it.

"Yes, there were like three or four cars, you know. I could pass one or two but I wasn't going to pass all of them, so I just backed off and saved fuel.

"I managed to save quite a bit of fuel on the first stint, running behind traffic and when I had a clear track I pushed."

Montoya was up to fifth after the first round of pitstops and got in front of BAR's Jenson Button for second after the second round of refuelling.

The eight points he won moved him up to fourth in the drivers' standings, 13 behind Ferrari's World Champion Michael Schumacher and 17 behind his teammate Raikkonen.

Montoya, who missed two races this season because of a shoulder injury, said he deserved a change in luck.

"This is the second podium for me in the year and I've been so unlucky all year long that it seems things are turning around a little bit now so it's nice to see," he said.

"I'm only 16 or 17 points behind Kimi already, so we are getting there slowly."

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Series Formula 1
Author Nick Mulvenney
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