Montoya Happy with Championship's Third Spot

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya was happy after finishing in third place in the 2002 Championship, although the Williams driver admitted he felt sorry he was unable to score any victories.

Montoya Happy with Championship's Third Spot

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya was happy after finishing in third place in the 2002 Championship, although the Williams driver admitted he felt sorry he was unable to score any victories.

"I am obviously delighted that I have achieved third place in the Drivers' Championship in my second season in F1," admitted Montoya. "It's been a good season and the only regret I have is that I could not get any race victories."

Montoya, who in his rookie season last year scored his first and so far only Grand Prix victory, finished behind the dominant Ferrari drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello in the Championship standings. The Colombian completed the season with a fourth place at today's Japanese Grand Prix.

"The strategy for me today was really bringing the car home and this is what I did," he added. "The car was a bit oversteery in the first part of the race but it improved after we made some little changes during the pit stop.

"I started closing the gap to the cars in front of me but then towards the end I thought that it was really pointless to push anymore and jeopardise my position. After Ralf's failure I was told to take it easy and this is what I did."

Ralf Schumacher, who for most of the race ran in third place behind the Ferraris, retired with an engine problem with only four laps to go.

"I was having a good race today, my car was well balanced and third place was only four laps away," he said. "The fact that I had to retire is therefore even more painful. Now we are going to collectively concentrate on the next season in order to do a better job."

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