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Juan Pablo Montoya

Montoya: The guy you always wanted to beat was Michael Schumacher

Despite spending only a little over five seasons in Formula 1, Juan Pablo Montoya left his mark on the sport. Find out who he describes as his toughest opponent during his stint competing in the pinnacle of motor racing.

Article
To news overview © McLaren

Juan Pablo Montoya was known for his fiery temperament and aggressive driving style, starting his career with the Williams team in 2001, the man from Bogata won seven races before unceremoniously leaving F1 midway through the 2006 season.

Montoya raced against a very competitive field. His rivals included the likes of Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher as well as future world champions Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, and Jenson Button. In an interview with The Race YouTube channel, the Colombian revealed there was one man in particular he always tried to get the better of.

"The guy you always wanted to race and beat was Michael, if I could make his life miserable it would make my day," he stated.

When questioned about who the most competitive driver on the grid was, Montoya provided a rather surprising answer.

"You know honestly when I went to Formula 1, Ralf Schumacher was so quick and he honestly made my life so miserable in the beginning," he added. "He made me a better driver, he made me push further than I ever did and he got me to a whole new level, it was great."

Along with his seven F1 wins, one of which was at the 2003 Monaco Grand Prix, Montoya's career highlights include winning the Champ Car title in 1999, the Indy 500 in 2000 and 2015, and claiming the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2019.

You can watch the full interview below.

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