Williams: Montoya Won't be Replaced for 2004

Williams have dismissed growing speculations that Juan Pablo Montoya will not race for the team in 2004, following his announcement of joining rivals McLaren in 2005.

Williams: Montoya Won't be Replaced for 2004

Williams have dismissed growing speculations that Juan Pablo Montoya will not race for the team in 2004, following his announcement of joining rivals McLaren in 2005.

Montoya is set to join McLaren, presumably replacing David Coulthard, in over a year's time, and the timing of the announcement has lead to rising speculations that Williams will not want Montoya to drive for the team in 2004, knowing the Colombian is about to join their rivals.

Furthermore, the team's technical director Patrick Head gave credence to the suggestion that Williams might be looking to replace Montoya when he was quoted by The Guardian as saying: "It will certainly be a bit odd going into next year knowing that one of your drivers has already signed for another team. We're obviously having discussions with other people, so we shall see what develops."

But a Williams spokesman dismissed the possibility of Montoya being replaced next year and said Head's comments relate to Montoya's replacement in 2005.

"Apart from anything else, Juan Pablo Montoya presents us with the best opportunity for winning the World Championship, and that's why we hired him in the first place," Williams's communications director Liam Clogger told Atlas F1, adding that "for both parties - the team and Montoya - there is an obvious mutual interest that we work together to achieve common goals next year."

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