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Montoya makes no apologies, no excuses for spin

July 24, 2005 11:57 IST

Juan Pablo Montoya staunchly defended his attempt to steal pole position from team mate Kimi Raikkonen at the German Grand Prix on Saturday despite ending up in the trackside gravel.

The McLaren driver, who went out last in the qualifying session, spun off the circuit going into the final corner of his lap and as a consequence will start at the back of the grid in Sunday's race.

The Colombian was incredulous when it was suggested that he could have settled for second to help Finn Raikkonen in his bid to close the gap on Renault's Spanish championship leader Fernando Alonso.

"Why do I want to nail second if I can be first?" said the 29-year-old. "Am I here to finish second or am I here to try to win races and win championships? I think I'm here to win races and championships."

"I made a mistake trying but that what's we're here for and if they're looking for somebody to be second then they need to look for a different driver.

"I think they hired me because they want me to win."

Montoya, who came into this race on a high after winning the last round of the championship in Britain, said the accident should be put down to driver error.

"There is no excuse really," he said. "I made a mistake and simply lost the car. It was going to be a really quick lap, possibly pole, and I thought all that is left now is to get a good exit out of the last corner.

"As I lifted, I lost the rear and that was it.

"I'm really upset for the team as everybody has been working so hard to make a one-two possible, and it really is important for us in the championship."

Raikkonen trails Alonso by 26 points with 80 up for grabs over the remainder of the season. McLaren are 15 behind the Spaniard's Renault team in the constructor's championship.

ABSOLUTE BEST

McLaren team principal Ron Dennis said he would never instruct a driver to do anything but his absolute best in qualifying.

"A driver on a qualifying lap is not trying determine where he's going to finish other than first," Dennis said. "The whole objective of qualifying is to put in the perfect lap.

"A qualifying lap is a 100 percent commitment, requires great focus ... when you qualify you put everything on the line.

"We would never expect them to drive to instructions.

"If you go to a team that does have clear cut number one and number two drivers, it would make no difference they would still try and put in the perfect qualifying lap." Montoya, who grabbed one of his five Formula One victories at Hockenheim two years ago, said he would do his best to get through the field and score some points on Sunday.

"I will just have to give it my all in the race tomorrow and hope for the best to try and make it up to the team," he said.



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