Montoya Upset after Penalty

Juan Pablo Montoya was upset after he had his qualifying time deleted as a result of the multiple shunt in Saturday morning free practice at Monte Carlo

Montoya Upset after Penalty

The incident happened after Ralf Schumacher exited the pitlane and inadvertently spoiled one of Montoya's quick laps. The Colombian then pulled in front of the Toyota driver and appeared to brake-test Schumacher.

David Coulthard's Red Bull had also left the pits just after Schumacher and was also slowed by the incident, with the result that Jacques Villeneuve's Sauber cannoned into the back of the Red Bull as it crested the brow on the approach to Massenet.

In a chain-reaction accident, Coulthard's car was then shunted into Schumacher's.

The race stewards received a report from the race director stating that Montoya was driving unnecessarily slowly at a very fast part of the track, thereby causing a completely avoidable accident.

Data inputs showed that Montoya slowed down 180 metres ahead of his usual braking point and that on a fast lap the Colombian's speed was 278.3kph compared with just 86.4kph on the lap in question.

Schumacher admitted that he may have impeded Montoya's lap but that he had not seen the McLaren and, if he did, it was totally by accident, while a furious Coulthard called for the McLaren man to be sanctioned.

Montoya said of his penalty: "It's very frustrating. All I know is that Ralf cut in front of me and nearly hit me and so people assume that I brake-tested him. But my lap was ruined and all I was doing was pulling over because I knew that Villeneuve was behind me.

"As far as I am concerned, the only person who really created the accident was Coulthard."

McLaren team boss Ron Dennis, for who Kimi Raikkonen took a superb pole, said: "I guess it's a case of the agony and the ecstasy.

"Kimi's performance was tremendous but Juan Pablo's grid position will make things difficult and mean that we are looking to score points with his car, getting him into the top eight, which is not really what we are about.

"It's a decision with no appeal process for an incident that happened in an unofficial practice session and at the end of the day, incidents are all part of Grand Prix racing. To undo his complete weekend is, I think, a bit extreme."

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