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Looks like Juan Pablo Montoya will be able to start preparing for his NASCAR debut sooner rather than later - Team McLaren Mercedes announced Tuesday that they have released Montoya for the rest of the 2006 F1 season, replacing him with test driver Pedro de la Rosa (shown above with JPM) for the French Grand Prix this weekend.

With current McLaren number one driver Kimi Raikkonen widely assumed to be going to Ferrari next year, de la Rosa will be hoping to turn his substitute drive into a full-time drive for 2007 alongside fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso. McLaren is also likely to use the opportunity created by Montoya's early departure from the team to try out their other test driver, Gary Paffett. Another front-runner for either the #2 seat or a test driver spot at McLaren is young Lewis Hamilton, a Ron Dennis protege who is currently having an outstanding year in the GP2 championship series.

[Source: GrandPrix.com]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      Formula what? Is that a junior division of NASCAR?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Drivers who can't cut it in F1 are relegated to drive in NASCAR. BTW, NASCAR - the 1950s called.. they want their technology back.
      • 9 Years Ago
      It was bad enough that nascar is allowing scum sucking toyota in, but now we will have to endure that whining pig juan Pigo montoya!! I could careless to see that jerk in a stock car and I don't care to hear about his talent!It seems his real talent is whining & crying that he is picked on! I hear that besides being a self-important jerk, he is also a pig that does not believe in being fit and spends his time stuffing his face at McDonalds! I think its odd that no other F1 team has said much about wanting him after he was removed from from his last team, can you say, 'wore out your welcome' or 'good riddance'!!! I think el pigo needs to go back the the drug capitol of South America and race go carts to & from McDonalds as he stuffs his face.
      • 9 Years Ago
      F1 is not racing anymore, its just cars following each other around with drivers along for the ride for 60 laps with no passing!
      • 9 Years Ago
      I just can't put into words how unimportant F1 is to American motor racing. It continues to degenerate into a technology-driven exercise for the mega-rich team owners and manufacturers for whom Europe is a prime market for their products.

      With the demise of US open-wheel racing (thanks to Tony George), NASCAR has blossomed and each year more Americans become NASCAR fans.

      Americans loved JPM when he raced CART "Indy Cars" and I believe fans will embrace him in NASCAR, too.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #13 (and others complaining about dull races)
      that is side-effect of beeing "the pinnacle of motorsport". there are world's best drivers, not making mistakes, reliable cars and pit crews, so fastest car/driver combo qualifies first and then finishes first. who can overtake him when he's fastest? and the same goes on for next copule of places. then the fun begins, in the middle field drivers aren't so perfect, cars break down, pit crews making mistakes...
      • 9 Years Ago
      Fine moa, it's the pinnacle. If the pinnacle is this boring, I'm not interested in the pinnacle.

      If you make it out to be a fait accompli, why even have a race? You already know the outcome because no one makes any mistakes. If you already know the outcome, where's the excitement in even having the race? Just put the cars on dynos, the drivers on reaction meters and calculate the champion in late spring and dispense with all the wasteful racing.

      I'm more interested in excitement than technical excellence I guess. But then I knew that already, since I really enjoy watching production-based racing.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #16 i agree with you, and i'm not trying to defend f1, i'm simply showing the reason why it is like that.
      nowadays f1 race is just proof for team owner that his design department with all computers and windtunels did the right job. all the fight is behind the desk and monitors.

      i also, like you, enjoy production cars racing, but they are so rare today. WRC is all about one-off cars only disguised to look like everyday ones, even touring cars in europe are not the same as 10 years ago...
      • 9 Years Ago
      NASCAR fans. Any race series where the car owner takes out their driver and replaces him with someone who can turn right for two tracks a year shouldn't be running off at the mouth about anything. NASCAR is the Pro Wrestling of auto racing. Really entertaining but no one should really take it seriously. Racing at it's purest is sports car racing. That never happens on an oval.
      • 9 Years Ago
      CNN Headline News is reporting that Schumacher is talking with NASCAR and may race there in 2007 also. He hopes to "team up" with Danica Patrick for one helluva ride.
      • 9 Years Ago
      NASCAR can have JP and Villeneuve. Please, take them now.

      http://uk.sports.yahoo.com/11072006/13/eyes-nascar.html

      #2 - Kimi does rock. If he's not the heir apparent, then I don't know who is (it's not Alsonso).
      • 9 Years Ago
      NASCAR is Pro Wrestling on wheels, where Socialists designed the rules, but F1 needs help.

      F1 needs to get rid of Bernie and Max. F1 needs to get rid of sterile, "safety first", look-alike circuits and replace them with more challenging tracks that actually encourage overtaking. Monaco, while clearly not a look-alike track, is a pure qualify-first-and-you-win track. It should go away, but won't.

      Max Mosley is like an anti-King Midas. Everything he touches turns to lead. First it was the stupid (ask Kimi, ask Indy 2005), one tire-per-race rule. Now, it's the 2.4-liter V8 engine rule, which actually has the cars cornering faster than ever and discourages overtaking. He keeps harping on about costs, but everything he decrees (such as a 2-race engine) only forces teams to spend even more money on R&D.

      As for money, if Bernie didn't suck up so much and leave the teams relative crumbs, maybe Max wouldn't be so anal about controlling costs. There should be some weighted formula that gives the small fry like Midland a greater percentage of the purse than mighty Ferrari, once Bernie realizes that without the teams there is no Formula One.

      Juan Pablo, good luck, but NASCAR sucks.
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