Montoya will be an F1 success, says Head

Williams technical director Patrick Head believes Juan Pablo Montoya will be a success when he switches over to Formula 1

Montoya will be an F1 success, says Head

Although Head refused to confirm it, Champ Car ace Montoya will leave Chip Ganassi Racing and drive for Williams-BMW next season, replacing the Benetton-bound Jenson Button.

The last driver to leave Ganassi and switch to Williams was Italian Alex Zanardi, who was dismissed by the Grove-based squad after just one season. But Head rejected comparisons between Zanardi and Montoya.

"I'm sure Juan Pablo will be in F1 [in the future] and I don't think there is a comparison between his position and Alex's," said Head in this week's Autosport magazine. "When he does come into F1 he'll have to adapt to these grooved tyres and they are a bit like driving on a knife edge.

"Undoubtedly, he's immensely skilled, but his [ultimate] level in F1 is only something we'll see in the future. So much of what a driver achieves is done by the way he conducts himself with the people around him - his understanding of how to use the skills of the people around him.

"People like Michael (Schumacher) and Ayrton (Senna) have that sort of talent in large doses."

Montoya is regarded as one of the most naturally-gifted drivers of recent years, but is often said to use his talent to 'drive around' set-up problems, rather than solve them. Head said that team boss Sir Frank Williams had taken note of that.

"Frank thinks he relies too heavily on his talent," he said. "He has tried to impress on Montoya that he has got to work."

Sources say that Montoya will be confirmed as a 2001 Williams driver after the Belgian Grand Prix later this month.

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