Schuey Jr expresses doubts over Montoya

Ralf Schumacher has spoken out about his Williams-BMW team mate for next year Juan Pablo Montoya, saying that the Colombian may turn out to be a Formula 1 flop

Schuey Jr expresses doubts over Montoya

Schumacher took a side swipe at the 26-year-old who will replace Jenson Button for next year, just two weeks after the duo met for the first time at the United States Grand Prix.

Montoya moved across the Atlantic to the American Champ Car series two years ago as the International Formula 3000 champion and has taken CART by storm, becoming the first rookie since Nigel Mansell to win the title and also taking victory in the Indy 500.

But Schumacher says Montoya's star-studded CV is no guarantee of success.

"He was fighting with Nick Heidfeld in Formula 3000 for the championship and now Nick seems to find it a bit difficult to adapt to F1," said Schumacher, "so anything is possible [when Montoya comes to F1].

"Look at Alex Zanardi, he won the CART championship two years in a row and was the quickest man over there, came here and, basically, was nowhere. I don't want to be unfair to Alex but that was the case. As a person, he was a lovely guy and I'm sure Juan will not end up like Alex."

Schumacher is not in doubt over Montoya's pace, but expressed fears over how the 1999 CART Champion will fare if he fails to deliver results when he moves to the world's premier motorsport category.

"He's going to be quick but obviously he's putting himself under a lot of pressure by having that reputation - and by saying what he is saying," continued Schumacher. "Just because he was fast in CART and F3000, it doesn't necessarily mean he will be fast in Formula 1.

"The day he's not quick enough he will find it difficult, but as long as he is he'll be ok. It was like that with Alex wasn't it? He seems to be a very self-confident person about his abilities."

Montoya will have to wait until December before he gets his first run with his new team because of the official F1 testing ban that precludes any teams from running throughout November.

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