Montoya Laments Harsh Treatment

McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya accepted his Canadian Grand Prix disqualification on Monday with the casual shrug of a man who has been there before

Montoya Laments Harsh Treatment

"Over the years, every time something happens, I get a big penalty... a big everything on me," he said in New York where he was promoting Formula One on CBS television in the United States.

"It's a little bit unfair, but it's their (the stewards') decision and you have to respect it. You have to deal with it," he added of the decision.

"Whether you like it or not, that's what it is."

For the second year running, the Colombian left Montreal with a disqualification.

Last year, with Williams, he was removed from the classification after the team used oversized brake ducts.

He was then also black flagged in the subsequent US Grand Prix after leaving the grid too late when trying to switch to the spare car.

The decision by stewards to disqualify Montoya on Sunday for leaving the pit lane under a red light seemed harsh to McLaren, who had hoped for a drive-through penalty or less, but it was his second run-in with the authorities in three races.

Montoya was sent to the back of the grid in Monaco last month for causing an avoidable accident when he slowed unexpectedly in practice on a fast part of the circuit.

He said that Sunday's incident was "a bit of everything".

Safety Car

The Colombian was heading for his first win of the season, leading teammate Kimi Raikkonen after the Renaults of championship leader Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella retired.

While McLaren's race strategy was being agreed on the radios, with Montoya being urged to play safe and slow his pace, the team failed to realise immediately that the safety car was on track.

When they told him to pit, he had already gone past the entrance and had to do another lap while Raikkonen came in and took the lead.

The team later apologised for their error.

"Of course, it would be nice to have the win, but I'm happy that I'm competitive," said Montoya, whose last victory was for Williams in the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix of 2004.

"When you make a mistake you've got to be part of the team," he said, adding that he had been confused by the light signals.

"When I resumed with the pace car I was a bit surprised because I saw there was a red and a flashing blue beside it so I kind of slowed down," he said.

"I went to ask the team it's kind of strange if they're going to stop me that I have to stop in the pit lane, so I just continued and they (McLaren) said 'you're probably going to get a drive-through penalty'," he added.

"For some reason the FIA decided to disqualify me, they've been pretty tough on me."

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Series Formula 1
Author Lewis Franck
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