Montoya favourite for title, says Lauda

Three-time world champion Niki Lauda has said that Michael Schumacher and Ferrari hardly stand a chance of winning the world championship this year, so long as Juan Pablo Montoya and the Williams team can maintain their stunning form over the final four races

Montoya favourite for title, says Lauda

The Colombian is currently six points behind Ferrari ace Michael Schumacher in the championship table, but has momentum on his side, having scored 50 points over the last six races, compared to the German's 33.

"Montoya can become world champion by himself," said Lauda, who won two of his three world titles driving for Ferrari. "To do so he must win two points more than Michael Schumacher in each of the remaining four races. In Montoya's current situation, this is not only possible, but even probable. If Williams can maintain its form, Ferrari are hardly going to stand a chance."

Fellow triple world champion Jackie Stewart has also backed Montoya, suggesting that he has developed significantly as a driver over the year.

"Men of his calibre have an instinct for success if it is achievable," said Stewart. "That's why Juan has changed over the last four months. He has sensed that he must improve one more time. That makes him especially strong and dangerous now. Today he doesn't leave as much to chance as he used to."

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