Montoya’s ‘time off’

Sat, 15 July 2006, 01:18

The McLaren camp at Magny Cours has continued to back away from suggestions that Juan Pablo has been ‘dismissed’.

Mercedes’ Norbert Haug, who never got along with the brash Colombian, insisted that the 30-year-old’s French GP absence is indicative simply of ‘time off’.

As to boss Ron Dennis’ assertion that Montoya could even return to his F1 car later this year, the German told ‘Premiere’: ”We will see.”

Although most interpreted Dennis’ curious comments in a press conference as the beginning of negotiations for a contract buyout with NASCAR chief Chip Ganassi, the Briton maintained on Friday afternoon that Montoya has been given pause to reflect.

Ron branded Juan Pablo’s decision to leave F1 without consulting either his management or McLaren as ‘spontaneous, reactive’ and also ‘impetuous’.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: ”(Montoya’s) decision … brought into question the level of commitment and dedication that he would be able to bring to the balance of the season.”

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