Now that Montoya is back, and with Ferrari looking stronger, this can shape to be a very interesting season, it is not a done deal for Renault.
[05/05/05 - 19:09]
Montoya happy to be back in business
After missing the last two Grand Prix
Montoya can't wait to return
to the cockpit of his McLaren
Juan Pablo Montoya said here Thursday that he is feeling great ahead of his return to the cockpit for the Spanish Grand Prix after missing the last two races through injury.
Colombian Montoya, who suffered a hairline fracture to his shoulder during a tennis game before the Bahrain Grand Prix, will have a final check- up at the Barcelona circuit Friday before being cleared to drive.
"I'm feeling great," said the McLaren driver. "We checked that the crack could stand up to everything and it looks very good. I have to see someone tomorrow morning, they just want to double-check everything, but I'm pretty happy.
"It's been kind of weird to sit down at home and watch the last two races on TV but I am ready to come back. McLaren has got a simulator and I went on it and (it tests) the full steering movement, everything, it was cool."
Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa replaced Montoya in Bahrain and finished fifth then Austrian Alex Wurz stepped in for San Marino and finished fourth, which has now become third after the disqualification of BAR-Honda driver Jenson Button.
And Montoya admitted: "Both of the third drivers did a fantastic job for the team so it's nice to see the team still scoring points, but it's great to be back."
When McLaren confirmed Montoya would miss the Bahrain Grand Prix in April they said the injury was caused by a tennis accident, but speculation grew that he had been injured falling off a motorbike.
McLaren team principal Ron Dennis fuelled the rumours by refusing to comment, insisting he did not know until he saw his driver face-to- face what had in fact occurred on the weekend before the Bahrain race. But Montoya insisted the injury came from a slip on the tennis court and said: "I've heard all kinds of stories and I would rather say it was anything apart from tennis because it sounds kind of dumb but it was tennis.
"I think this came up because a lot of people think most of the drivers' contracts say you're not allowed to do anything, so they all thought: 'He's out of the races and he's broken his contract' but it is the way it is."