Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Barbara Barbieri McGrath (1953–) Biography - Personal to Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930) Biography » Juan Pablo Montoya: 1975—: Race Car Driver Biography - Raced Way To Teen Karting Champion, Became Youngest Champion Ever, Approached Races With Relaxed Attitude

Juan Pablo Montoya: 1975—: Race Car Driver - Became Youngest Champion Ever

season finishes series schumacher

In 1999, his first year driving in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) FedEx racing series, Montoya became the youngest-ever champion of the series, earning pole position for all seven of his race wins. "I expected to do well, but whoa, this is unbelievable," Montoya told USA Today at the end of his first season. His 2000 return to the series for the Chip Ganessi team was less spectacular, with six pole positions and only three wins, but he won the Indianapolis 500 that year, in his first attempt.

Montoya became a full-time driver for BMW-Williams for the 2000 F1 season. His first year in the elite series was full of impetuous rookie errors, but he clearly demonstrated he had the potential to become a serious contender in the sport. He finished the season in a respectable sixth place overall in the championship, with one race victory at the Italian Grand Prix, four top-three finishes, three pole positions, and six finishes in the 17-race season. "With a combination of youth, speed, and control," wrote Jared Kotler of the Chicago Tribune, "Montoya is being compared with other greats, including … Brazilian F1 champ Ayrton Senna" who is considered one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport, but who died in a crash in 1994.

In the 2002 F1 season, Montoya proved he was in fact a serious contender for the series championship. He finished third overall for the title, with 13 finishes out of 17 races and seven pole positions. His seven top-three finishes included third-place finishes at the Austrian, British, and Belgian Grands Prix and second place in the Grands Prix of Australia, Malaysia, Spain, and Germany. Montoya showed singular focus throughout the season in chasing five-time World Champion Michael Schumacher of Germany, who drove for Ferrari. "We're both drivers," Montoya said, of Schumacher, to Liz Clarke of USA Today. "We're both trying to win, and that's what we're here for. I'm getting paid by Williams to try to beat everybody—including him." Clarke compared the two drivers: "Montoya races with abandon and spontaneity, as if daring ran in his blood. Schumacher, by contrast, is a study of precision and consistency." Schumacher's brother Ralf is Montoya's teammate at BMW-Williams, and the rivalry between the two is notorious.

Juan Pablo Montoya: 1975—: Race Car Driver - Approached Races With Relaxed Attitude [next] [back] Juan Pablo Montoya: 1975—: Race Car Driver - Raced Way To Teen Karting Champion

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