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Montoya wants full-time stewards

Alan Baldwin | October 09, 2003 17:58 IST

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, still seething at his elimination from the title chase, says it is time for Formula One to employ professional race stewards.

The Williams driver was scathing on Thursday about the officials' decision to impose a drive-through penalty that destroyed his championship hopes at the last U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis.

"I went home and looked at the video and I still think that it was a very unfair penalty," he said at the Japanese Grand Prix. "I think it was a racing incident."

Montoya touched the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello as he tried to overtake on a wet track, sending the Brazilian spinning out in what was ruled to be an avoidable accident.

"We touched, no hard feelings on it...I think the only reason he spun was because the track was damp," he said.

"I think the biggest problem we have got is that you've got a different steward at every race. And I think it's sad to see that.

"It's sad to see that in such a big series, and Formula One is the biggest thing in motorsport, you are still messing around with different stewards in every race."

Montoya was referring back to Silverstone, where Ferrari's championship leader Michael Schumacher forced Renault's Spaniard Fernando Alonso on to the grass at high speed and yet escaped punishment.

"He did it knowing he (Alonso) was going to pass and he did it knowing that the only way to stop him was pushing the other guy off," he said. "And I think that deserves a lot more of a penalty than what happened with Rubens.

"But if you don't have the same stewards at every race, you are always going to get that.

"You need to have the same guys making decisions at every race, not guys that come to two races a year."

Montoya's failure took much of the sting out of the championship and left Schumacher nine points ahead of McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen.

Raikkonen must win on Sunday and hope the German fails to score. But McLaren can expect no favours from Montoya, who has been persistently linked to that team in paddock speculation.

"I need to beat Raikkonen to be second in the championship. And we need to win the constructors' championship so we've got to take every point we can," said Montoya.

"If Kimi wants to try to win it, he's going to have a hard race in front of him. I'm not his team mate."

Formula One 2003 - Complete coverage

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