Home > Sports > News > Reuters > Report
Montoya to join McLaren
November 17, 2003 17:50 IST
Last Updated: November 17, 2003 18:18 IST
Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya will race for McLaren in the 2005 Formula One season after completing his contract with rival team Williams, Team McLaren said on Monday.
"The opportunity to sign a talent like Juan Pablo was too good to miss and there is already a considerable amount of anticipation within our team about 2005," Ron Dennis, head of the Mercedes-powered team, said in a statement.
Montoya was a title contender this season, ending up third overall behind Ferrari's six times champion Michael Schumacher and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen.
Rumours swept Formula One before the end of the season that the Colombian, one of the sport's swashbuckling showmen, was set to join McLaren in place of Briton David Coulthard.
However, McLaren did not say on Monday who would be driving alongside Montoya in its 2005 team.
Dennis said McLaren wanted to win championships and believed the addition of Montoya, who has frequently threatened Schumacher on the track, would help them in that aim.
"Juan Pablo has achieved a considerable amount of success in his career and we are certain that he will add to this with Team McLaren Mercedes," Dennis said.
Finland's Mika Hakkinen was the last driver to win the drivers' world championship for McLaren car in 1999.
"We are certainly looking forward to seeing what he can do in one of our cars and I believe that it's a prospect that can't fail to excite Formula One fans around the world," added Dennis.
Montoya himself said he was thrilled to be joining the team.
"The team is consistently a strong world championship contender and has a fantastic heritage. It's a great opportunity for me and I'm really looking forward to the first time I will be able to drive one of their cars.
"To join them is an amazing challenge and experience which I plan to fully enjoy," he said.