Montoya: Villeneuve Cost McLaren 1-2

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya angrily accused Jacques Villeneuve of shoving him out of Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix, potentially costing McLaren the constructors' title

Montoya: Villeneuve Cost McLaren 1-2

Montoya crashed into a tyre barrier after a coming together with Villeneuve's Sauber at the end of the first lap at Suzuka.

Although Montoya's teammate Kimi Raikkonen delivered McLaren's sixth straight victory, Renault took second and third to take a two-point lead in the constructors' standings before next week's season-ending race in Shanghai.

"He missed the chicane and then he just started to go wider and wider and wider until he pushed me off the circuit," fumed Montoya, winner of the last race in Brazil.

The safety car came out after the crash for seven laps as marshals moved Montoya's wrecked car from the edge of the track and the incident was placed under investigation by stewards.

"I was 100 percent beside him and he just pushed me and pushed me until I was in the grass," said Montoya. "We probably could have had a one-two today which would have been fantastic for the team."

Canadian Villeneuve, who finished 11th, took a different view.

"I didn't even know what happened," he told Reuters. "He was on the outside, but not next to me. It's a right-handed corner so you don't look left. At some point he ran out of road."

Not Worried

Villeneuve said he had been shown videotape of the incident by FIA officials but did not fear sanction.

"Now that I've seen it on TV there's no reason for anything to happen," the former World Champion said. "I'm not worried."

McLaren team boss Ron Dennis also placed the blame squarely on Villeneuve.

"I always struggle when people say 'I didn't see him' when in reality they are wheel to wheel and are perfectly aligned," he said.

"I think we all know what peripheral vision is and I find it hard to believe that anyone can't see another racing car that is squarely alongside him.

Villeneuve's explanation also cut little ice with Montoya.

"I'm surprised he didn't realise because he blocked me when I went right," said the Colombian. "It's a real disappointment. I didn't want to be stuck watching from the pit wall."

Asked if he had spoken to Villeneuve, Montoya said bluntly: "No, I've got better things to do in life."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve
Teams McLaren
Author Alaistar Himmer
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