The Web


 Latest Sports news on mobile: sms SPRT to 7333

Home > Sports > News > Reuters > Report

Montoya defiant after walkout

Alan Baldwin | March 04, 2004 17:50 IST

Fiery Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya was all smiles on Thursday as he faced the media without walking out or being asked to play golf with anyone's grandmother.

Montoya was furious on Wednesday when two comedians from a satirical Australian sports show interrupted a poorly attended news conference at a Melbourne racetrack by asking nonsensical questions.

Also Read

Aussie humour fails to amuse Montoya

Montoya ready for battle with Schumi

The Speed Demons

Complete coverage

By contrast, the Williams driver looked completely relaxed at another news conference before Sunday's Australian Grand Prix a day after he made headlines by angrily quitting an engagement with team sponsor Allianz.

But Montoya, a frontrunner to win the Formula One championship this year before joining McLaren in 2005, said he still failed to see the funny side of the incident and pinned the blame on event organisers.

"The sponsors can't really say anything because the sponsors were the guys who let them (the comedians) in," he said.

"They probably wanted to play a joke on me and it didn't work as planned."

One, answering his mobile telephone as Montoya was speaking, asked the driver whether he would play a round of golf with his grandmother. The Colombian then brought an end to the proceedings and stalked off.

"When you are doing a day for a sponsor you've got to be very professional in what you're doing," he said. "And when it's not handled professionally, I don't think you've got to be there.

"If you're in a place where you are joking and having fun, it's all right. But I didn't find it funny -- a guy asking me if I wanted to play golf with his grandmother or whatever."

Montoya shrugged off a suggestion that his action might reflect badly on Formula One.

"I don't care to be honest," he said.

"I talked to Frank (Williams), Frank is okay with it. He said to me 'I'm glad you behaved in a good way, it's a shame we couldn't complete the day'.

"There was some friction but it wasn't in front of anybody," added the driver when asked about reports of an altercation afterwards.

"It was a closed room. We had a discussion about it and I told them why I was leaving."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis, who predicted Montoya would be probably the hardest driver for his team to beat this year, said he was not concerned by his behaviour.

"Why would I be concerned about that? Juan is a driver for the Williams team," he told Reuters.

"In a situation like that, an event that is being managed by either a sponsor or a team, the team should have stepped in and stopped what was basically a publicity-seeking objective of two Australian comedians.

"Putting aside whether Juan Pablo's reaction was the right one or not, it shouldn't have ever happened."

7333: The Latest News on Your Mobile!
© Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
Share your comments

Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Write us a letter
Discuss this article

Related Stories

Money to decide Ralf's future

'Schumi will struggle this year'

F1 needs its rebels: Mosley

People Who Read This Also Read

Montoya ready for battle

'Steve Bucknor is useless'

F1 needs its rebels: Mosley

Copyright © 2005 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.