Ex-F1 ace Montoya returns to McLaren for '21 Indy 500 bid

Ex-Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya will return to McLaren in 2021 to race a third Arrow McLaren SP car in the Indianapolis 500

Ex-F1 ace Montoya returns to McLaren for '21 Indy 500 bid

The Colombian legend, who won the race for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2000 and for Team Penske in 2015, will join the team's full-timers Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist at IndyCar's flagship event.

Montoya departed full-time open-wheel racing at the end of the 2016 IndyCar season, but returned to Penske for the Indy 500 in 2017, which is his most recent IndyCar race.

Montoya first joined McLaren in 2005 in F1 and took three grand prix victories, though quit the team and F1 midway through the 2006 campaign.

"I'm very excited to be joining Arrow McLaren SP for the Indianapolis 500," said Montoya.

"I have some great history with McLaren from my F1 days and I'm looking forward to making some more at next year's Indianapolis 500."

Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt is "thrilled" to have Montoya onboard and believes his experience will "elevate" the team next year.

"Arrow McLaren SP is thrilled to have a driver of Juan's caliber join the team for next year's Indianapolis 500," Schmidt said.

"His experience will elevate the entire team, including our young, talented lineup of Pato and Felix.

"When you think that he's only started the Indy 500 five times but won it twice, that's impressive."

Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, added: "I'm delighted for Juan to rejoin the McLaren family and return to the Indianapolis 500 with Arrow McLaren SP.

"He is an intensely competitive, highly versatile driver, with deep experience at the top level of motorsport and a big following.

"Having him with us at the 500 next year will be great for the team and IndyCar fans everywhere."

Since departing IndyCar, Montoya has added the 2019 IMSA SportsCar championship title to his CV and next year competes full-time for DragonSpeed in the World Endurance Championship.

Montoya isn't the only past Indy 500 winner returning to the event in 2021, with 2013 winner Tony Kanaan joining Ganassi for the race as part of a full oval programme for the team spanning multiple years beginning next season.

shares
comments
IndyCar race winner Herta switches to #26 Andretti car for 2021

Previous article

IndyCar race winner Herta switches to #26 Andretti car for 2021

Next article

Fittipaldi aims for IndyCar return alongside F1 reserve role

Fittipaldi aims for IndyCar return alongside F1 reserve role
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams McLaren
Author David Malsher
Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans? Plus

Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans?

IndyCar's gold standard teams Ganassi and Penske are set for another slugfest beginning this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. A poor start to the first season with the new aeroscreen left Josef Newgarden with too much ground to make up on Scott Dixon in the title chase, but his strong end to 2020 suggests a battle royale lies ahead...

IndyCar
Apr 16, 2021
The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021 Plus

The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021

From rookies arriving with big reputations to veterans who still have the fire and an F1-linked squad pushing to join the big leagues, IndyCar has it all this year. Here are six of the key storylines to keep track of

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed Plus

The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed

Often unfairly characterised as a car-breaker, judged for his lack of an Indianapolis 500 win and a disappointing part-season of Formula 1 in 1993, Michael Andretti was highly respected by his rivals and only thwarted greater success by ill-fortune. When it all came together in 1991, he was a truly formidable force

IndyCar
Mar 6, 2021
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021
The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete Plus

The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indycar game-changer that won its third Indianapolis 500 five years after its debut

IndyCar
Dec 22, 2020
Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough Plus

Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough

Josef Newgarden feels he didn't put a foot wrong in 2020, yet his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield a third series championship. But in a warning shot to Scott Dixon, Team Penske's team leader has vowed to redouble his efforts in 2021

IndyCar
Dec 21, 2020