Montoya Says he Can Win Title Without Indy Victory

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya says he can be this year's Formula One champion without winning Sunday's US Grand Prix.

Montoya Says he Can Win Title Without Indy Victory

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya says he can be this year's Formula One champion without winning Sunday's US Grand Prix.

"It's kind of odd, but I don't have to win the race, really," the Williams driver told a news conference on Thursday. "I need to make sure I finish in front of Michael (Schumacher) and Kimi (Raikkonen) but that doesn't mean I have to win."

Schumacher leads Montoya by three points and McLaren's Raikkonen by seven with just the Japanese Grand Prix remaining after Indianapolis.

The German, who could clinch a record sixth title this weekend if results go his way, has won the last three Japanese Grands Prix and is considered the favourite if the Championship remains on a knife-edge going to Suzuka.

Other drivers, questioned on how they saw the Championship going, remained uncommitted on Thursday.

"For once it's very open," said Canadian Jacques Villeneuve, who beat Schumacher to the 1997 title while with Williams. "So it's impossible to know. Obviously Kimi's car seems to have been less competitive in the second half of the season.

"But he knows that if the two in front fight and go off, he gets the points. So I think that's great and makes it exciting for Formula One."

Toyota's Brazilian Cristiano da Matta added: "It is so open and the Ferrari and Williams are so close. It depends so much on weather conditions, whatever tyre works better in whatever situation."

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