Monaco Grand Prix winner Juan Pablo Montoya has revealed an astounding fact about one of his Indy 500 triumphs – he didn’t want to go!
Montoya is a serial winner across multiple motorsport series, including the Formula 3000 International Championship, the Championship Auto Racing Teams series, the IMSA Sportscar Championship, the 24-hour race at Daytona, and the Race of Champions.
The Columbian is in attendance at this year’s Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, and spoke to Sky Sports’ Ted Kravitz after qualifying on Saturday.
Max Verstappen’s jaw-dropping final sector to the chequered flag to stick is Red Bull on pole reminded Montoya of his own racing days.
A blast from the past
Montoya won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2003 having transferred into the sport from Indycar, with a total of seven wins in six years, but his most memorable moment came in his very first Indy 500 appearance.
“Yeah, I did [win the Indy 500 at first attempt],” he told Kravitz.
“I didn’t even want go to! We had moved from Honda to Toyota [engines] and we had a ton of failures. I was really annoyed and like why are we taking the focus away from the championship?”
The politics involved has irked F1 drivers down the years also, but Montoya refocussed to take a stunning win.
The 2023 Indycar title tight
Honda have long provided engines for elite-level motorsport teams, recently revealed a partnership with Audi in F1 from 2026, and continue to supply the good for a number of teams in Indycar with this season’s title fight to be decided by the final race.
“I think this year, it’s going to come down as always to the last lap,” said Montoya.
“I think Palou looks really strong, Dixon has got a bit of a vengeance and I think the boys at McLaren look really strong.”
The Colombian added: “From the two years I did with them, the second year the car was a lot stronger and they were there and I think Chevrolet made a good step, so we’ll see.”
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