Villeneuve: Montoya could have Killed Me

Canadian Jacques Villeneuve said he and spectators could have been killed by Juan Pablo Montoya's 'stupid and dangerous' driving at the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday

Villeneuve: Montoya could have Killed Me

"How serious could it have been? It could have been me and a few people in the hotel dead," said the 1997 World Champion of a pile-up caused by the Colombian on the approach to Casino square in final practice.

That fast section of the track is flanked by spectators watching from some of the most expensive hotels in the Mediterranean principality.

Stewards punished the McLaren driver by sending him to the back of the starting grid for causing "a completely avoidable accident" when he slowed down after being impeded by Toyota's Ralf Schumacher.

The Colombian, who reduced his speed to 86 kph from the 278 he clocked on a previous lap, said he slowed because he was waiting for Villeneuve to pass.

Villeneuve, who was on a fast lap, was unsighted and could not brake in time. His Sauber crashed into the rear of Briton David Coulthard's Red Bull, which then collided with Schumacher's.

"I'm just lucky I hit David's gearbox instead of hitting his rear wheel," said Villeneuve, whose father Gilles was killed in practice for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix after his Ferrari hit the slower March of Germany's Jochen Mass.

"If not I would have taken off like in Australia a few years ago ... it was extremely, extremely dangerous."

Villeneuve was involved in a fatal accident in Melbourne in March 2001 when his BAR flew into the safety fence after clipping the rear of Ralf Schumacher's Williams as the German braked in front of him.

A marshal was hit by a flying wheel and died.

Villeneuve said the penalty applied to Montoya, Ralf's former teammate and winner of the race with Williams in 2003, was entirely justified.

"If it stops people doing stupid, dangerous stuff then it's a good thing," he said.

"You shouldn't go at 80 kph in a sport where you are normally at 280 and in a blind place like that. It's just ridiculous. You have to remember that there are other people on the track, that's all."

The Sauber driver said Montoya had already blocked him on the previous lap, driving slowly in the middle of the track after coming out of the pits.

"Then the next lap I guess Ralf blocked him and he slowed down and they were both going slowly and there was nothing we could do," said Villeneuve.

"Some people will learn very easily from a mistake, even when you don't give them a penalty because they are intelligent enough to learn.

"Some other people you can disqualify for six races and they will still do it again. I don't know which mould Montoya is in. I hope he's the kind of guy who learns because that's extremely dangerous," said Villeneuve.

Australian Mark Webber said drivers had been warned about the dangers of slowing on the track.

"It was spoken about in the drivers' briefing and it goes without saying around here that you have to be careful where you lift off," said the Williams driver.

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