Juan Pablo Montoya has denied that his switch to NASCAR is motivated by simply running out of options in formula one.
”I had a couple of options in F1,” the Colombian told a news conference in Chicago on Sunday, ”and they were completely open for me to sign.”
30-year-old Montoya, who entered F1 with a bang in 2001 but struggled alongside Kimi Raikkonen at McLaren in 2005 and 2006, had earlier been linked with Red Bull and possibly Toyota but recent speculation indicated that even those options had dried up.
But Montoya explained: ”I couldn’t turn this down. A couple of years down the road maybe this option wasn’t going to be available, and I didn’t want to throw it away.”
Undoubtedly he will earn less money in the American tin-top category, but Montoya insisted that the switch is about ‘the racing’.
”Some people might think I’m crazy to go from formula one to NASCAR,” he admitted, ”but coming here is probably going to be my toughest challenge of my career.
”I don’t think I would be happy getting more money but being miserable all day.
”I think three years from now, when I look at my career, I’m going to be happier here.”