Stewart Wanted Montoya to be Champion

Former champion Jackie Stewart believes Formula One would have been better served had Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya won this year's title instead of blowing his chances at Indianapolis.

Stewart Wanted Montoya to be Champion

Former champion Jackie Stewart believes Formula One would have been better served had Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya won this year's title instead of blowing his chances at Indianapolis.

"I would have liked him frankly to have won the World Championship this year because I think he would have been a better World Champion in fact than Michael Schumacher," the former champion told BBC radio.

"Not because of his driving but because of his charisma...Michael's been World Champion almost too many times. The spark's gone out," added the Scot. "If I had to choose just for the good of the sport, I indeed would have chosen Montoya to be champion.

"However I think the best man is going to win the World Championship...but he will not have the same enthusiasm for going out and doing those things.

"He (Schumacher) takes himself to Norway and goes cross-country skiing and being with his family - all good things but during that time he's not doing a lot for Formula One at a time when it needs it."

Stewart also urged Montoya to stay at Williams.

Formula One's rumour mongers have continued to whisper about a possible Montoya move to McLaren next season in place of Briton David Coulthard, despite denials from both the British-based teams.

"I think he would be better investing at least for 2004 with Williams," Stewart said. "With the BMW engine, I think it's a good package. (Technical director) Patrick Head is as good an engineer as has been in Formula One for many a decade. If I were McLaren, I would leave it until 2005. I think I would let somebody else teach him the tricks that are necessary.

"They've got a good solid team for 2004 in my opinion, I think Raikkonen is the Iceman and is a wonderful driver. And David Coulthard is still on race day about as good as you can get and very good for McLaren."

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