Juan Pablo Montoya: “It looks more likely that a McLaren runs with Ferrari and Red Bull, than Mercedes”

Juan Pablo Montoya discussed the upturn in form of his former F1 team, McLaren, in a conversation with  VegasInsider. Here’s what he had to say:



  • It looks more likely that a McLaren runs with Ferrari and Red Bull, than Mercedes

“McLaren is one of those teams, when you look at it, that are just in the gap that if they do a big enough step with the car, they could be right there winning.”

“It looks more likely that a McLaren runs with Ferrari and Red Bull, than Mercedes, right now.”

“If Mercedes did a step, then Mercedes will run closer to the McLaren and if McLaren makes a step, then it will run closer to a Red Bull and Ferrari.”


  • I think Mercedes is two steps away from Red Bull and Ferrari

“Personally speaking, I think Mercedes is two steps away from them.”

“They have the people, the resources, everything.”

“The problem of figuring it out is that they thought they figured it out in the wind tunnel and put it on the track. The wind tunnel runs till 250 km/hr, or a scale of 250, and the problem starts close to 300. And they cannot simulate that. So, they think they fixed it and they think they never had an issue. It’s difficult.”

“Probably a lot of analysts, a lot of engineers back in the shed, they’re pulling their hair out and trying to figure it out.” 

“That’s where I think Toto (Wolff) is very strong. They have a really good group of people together and it’s a big group of people and Toto has managed them.”

“Adrian (Newey) goes ‘this is the direction of the car’ and everyone works on that area. When you have four people (like Mercedes do) and you can actually make them work together, I think that’s unbelievable and that’s why Mercedes has been so good. And that’s Toto behind the wall doing that.”


  • The media is putting a lot of pressure on Daniel Ricciardo but I think he’s done well

“I think Daniel was pretty good. Daniel struggled with the car last year. I think the car had a very small window where it worked and Lando was really comfortable, his driving style really matched that window.” 

“Daniel, the way he wanted that car to do things, it was different and he just couldn’t make it work.”

“I think this year’s car is a little better and he’s doing a better job.”

“Daniel wants the car to do what he wants and Lando, he’s younger, and he goes – ‘let’s see what happens’. He’s more like, let’s flip a coin and figure it out.”

“Same for George and Lewis. It doesn’t mean George is a lot quicker than Lewis. It’s just that they’re more comfortable in taking risks and more comfortable with how the car moves.”

“For me, personally, it’s the same thing. I’m with McLaren in the Indy500, for example, and we did a debrief where they said – ‘oh yeah, the car is moving and doing things.’ And I was like ‘not me, if my car is doing that, I ain’t driving it.'”

“That’s where Lewis and Daniel are. They’re more focused on making the car more comfortable.”

“A lot of the media is putting a lot of pressure on Daniel to perform and I think he’s doing a good job.”

“When you’re under pressure, you make mistakes. Look at it with Sainz. He just touched the line and ran a little wide. When the pressure’s building, nothing goes freaking right.”



Montoya was speaking to VegasInsider, and you can find the entire interview here.

Adam Sinclair