Former Williams and McLaren stalwart Juan-Pablo Montoya was ever present in Mexico last Sunday, watching the F1 action trackside before donning his journalist hat to conduct the podium interviews.
Montoya obviously remains a big fan of Grand Prix racing but the main part of the Columbian’s career has taken place in the US, with a fair amount of success.
Following a disappointing stint in NASCAR, Montoya reverted back to Indycars in 2014, where it all started for him, driving for Roger Penske.
America’s most famous racing outfit has replaced Montoya with Josef Newgarden for 2017 but did however reach an agreement to enter JPM in next year’s Indianapolis 500.
“I’m pleasantly surprised that he took the Indy-only offer,” team boss Tim Cindric told Autopsort.
“We were really honest with each other about what our different goals were and for a period it didn’t align but I think this is a good situation for both of us.
“His first reaction was he wanted to run a full season with someone and especially with the way this season ended he wanted to give it another shot if possible. He didn’t want to leave the team but wanted to see what else was out there.
“At the end of last week he told me the best opportunity was to run Indy with Team Penske so if the offer still stood that is what he wanted to do.”
As for Montoya, he declared himself “very happy” with the one-off opportunity, as he said he would be spending time next year helping his son, Sebastian, race in Europe and doing commentary work for Canal F1 Latin America.
Perhaps F1 will soon have another ‘Sebastian’ on the grid to contend with…
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