Mar.14 (GMM) Juan Pablo Montoya says the current Mercedes era is no different to any other team’s dominance throughout recent F1 history.
The former Williams and McLaren driver kicked off the new Indycar series with victory in Florida, so when asked if he misses the so-called pinnacle of motor sport, he insisted: “No!”
“I have no regrets,” added the Colombian, who quit McLaren and the series amid acrimony a decade ago, reverting to the American scene, initially Nascar.
“In F1, now as then, the driver with the fastest car wins, period,” the 40-year-old, notably heavier now than in his F1 career, told Italia Racing.
“I never had a dominant car like the Ferrari of those times, but I fought for the title and I’m proud of what I did,” Montoya added.
But he is happier now in the US.
“I think Indycar is the maximum,” he said. “On TV it’s good, the public likes it, the races are hard-fought.
“F1 today is slow in the corners, there isn’t much downforce. But at Phoenix we have 5G in the corners — not bad, right?”
Even so, he said it is wrong to blame Mercedes for making F1 boring.
“Is it different to when Schumacher always won?” Montoya asked. “And when McLaren dominated? Let’s be serious, it’s always been the same.”
A bigger problem, he suggested, is F1’s notorious “politics”.
“As a child it was my dream to race in F1, but when I got there and saw how things worked, my dream was destroyed,” said Montoya.
But he will be cheering for Ferrari in 2016, and in particular Sebastian Vettel.
“I really like him,” Montoya said. “I’ve known him since he was very young. I think he’s a more complete driver than Hamilton but winning the world championship does not depend on him alone.
“If Ferrari give him a winning car, he will do the job, otherwise not. It’s the same old story.”
As for the current struggles of his old team, McLaren, Montoya also has clear words.
“They underestimated the engine situation,” said Montoya. “Why go looking for Honda when they already had a Mercedes?”