News and views on motorsports

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What If He Makes It?

Lots seem to be happening in F1 this year but not least we have lost a great driver in Juan Pablo Montoya. I know his departure is old news but nevertheless I'd like to make my comments on this.

I know a lot of people seem to think that he's a slacker at best and a wanker at worse but to my mind Juan Pablo's departure means that Formula 1 has lost an incredible talent. I simply cannot believe jerks like Tiago Monteiro still remain but a genius Juan are surplus to requirements. Consider the Colombian's debut season in 2001. After a couple of races, here was this rookie seemingly without any fear and in a straight fight outbrakes Michael Schumacher going into Turn 1 at Interlagos. Had anyone been watching Juan in Champcars the previous two years it would have come as no surprise. But what I liked was the utter defiance against so great a driver and then triple world champion.

And I really find it hard to believe that a driver who clearly could outpace Kimi Raikkonen himself in similar machinery was sidelined as he was at McLaren. Of course Juan Pablo made his mistakes but his speed cannot be denied. I believe he'd be fast no matter what he drives and truth be told I think he would have been a better choice for Red Bull than Mark Webber.

Anyways, as we all know he's off to NASCAR now. Honestly speaking I have no idea if he'll do well there or not. These saloon cars are big and heavy and are a world away from the lightweight and excessively powerful Formula 1 single seaters. Its a whole different style of driving. But what he ought to get used to quite quickly is the level of racing in the series. Typical of saloon car races its very competitive with lots of argy bargy going on. Somehow I think he'd get pretty used to that given his character behind the wheel. But he'll still need time to adjust. Saloon cars are no mean feat. Look at what happened to Mansell when he tried a BTCC Mondeo. Round and round we go..........

Can you imagine if Juan Pablo makes it big in NASCAR? I mean Juan has a pretty big following worldwide. Certainly he has many fans over here in Malaysia. By and large, the rest of the world cares very little for this sport of the deep South. But if Juan Pablo is making it there, you can be certain interest levels would definitely go up. Heck, you might even catch me trying to get a glimpse from time to time just to see how one of my favourite drivers is doing.

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