Juan Pablo Montoya wants another Indianapolis 500 shot in 2018

Juan Pablo Montoya wants to make a sixth Indianapolis 500 appearance in 2018, and hopes that racing with Penske in the IMSA SportsCar Championship will not prevent it

Juan Pablo Montoya wants another Indianapolis 500 shot in 2018

Montoya lost his full-time IndyCar seat to eventual 2017 champion Josef Newgarden at the beginning of this year, and was later confirmed as one of Penske's drivers in its all-new Acura IMSA team.

He made a brief IndyCar return for the two Indianapolis rounds, finishing sixth in the 500.

Asked if talks about another Indy 500 outing had begun, Montoya told Autosport: "We haven't had that discussion yet.

"But I told Roger [Penske] that I would be more than happy to do it if they want me to - and I hope they do.

"They said they'd have to look at it and see what would happen. If they offer it then sure, I would love to do it."

Montoya says that it would come down to balancing his IMSA commitments, and admitted that the Honda Performance Development/Acura IMSA ties could impact his chances, as Penske runs Chevrolet engines in IndyCar.

"I don't want to have that conversation!" he added.

"Penske has proven it can run five cars at Indy, so it's about having the IMSA crews switch across.

"It's a big effort, I understand that, but at least IMSA doesn't have racing that month, so it is possible."

Firestone needs to revise tyres

Montoya, alongside Oriol Servia, has taken part in every IndyCar-led test of the 2018 aerokit, and says that tyre supplier Firestone will have to make the gap between its two compounds larger next year.

For 2017 Firestone closed the performance gap between the primary black tyres and the alternate red, which led to criticism.

"I think that's one of the things Firestone will really have to work on - make that difference a lot bigger," said Montoya.

"You want the primary tyre to be half a second or a second slower but consistent.

"You want the reds to be crazy-quick but it's softer to force people to not do a full stint.

"If you have a red tyre that's so different that it splits up your strategy, you have to decide which stint you want to be shorter and with a lighter fuel load.

"That's going to create interesting racing, more passing, and so on."

Firestone Racing's chief engineer Cara Adams admitted that the debate over the two compounds is continuing.

"We're always working both with the teams and IndyCar to figure out how big that gap should be," she said.

Adams also added that IndyCar will have to adapt its compounds for oval races such as the Indy 500.

"The new aero package gives us the opportunity to look at new types of tyre," she said.

"Maybe we'll need a new shape of front tyre or a new construction altogether, perhaps stiffer or less stiff.

"They're all things we're looking at because the forward weight distribution will affect the front tyres a lot."

shares
comments
The top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2017

Previous article

The top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2017

Next article

Sebastien Bourdais: Manufacturer aerokits hurt IndyCar's standing

Sebastien Bourdais: Manufacturer aerokits hurt IndyCar's standing
Load comments
Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Plus

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after edging past Alex Palou on the penultimate lap of a thrilling race that validated Michael Shank's faith in the veteran Brazilian - who is discovering that there is life after Penske after all

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021