Why did Juan Pablo Montoya leave F1 for Nascar?


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Erik, you are correct. He did get run out of F1. He had no other options, (Ganassi cars have much better drivers than he in IRL and the NASCAR seat for Ganassi was open.), he burned bridges with most F1 drivers & teams and his arrogant attitude had gotten old. And he definitely wasn't the one in the shadow of Schumacher. There were plenty of others ahead of him. His "popularity" in NASCAR right now is a misconception, that is the media trying to build him up. They have been trying to get the fans interested in him but that could be a stretch. His lack of patience and "big head" will not win over many in the garage and it could be a long year for him.

F1 fan? Who said anything about being an F1 fan? Oh, and by the way, I'm an American born & raised not European. Montoya was pretty much a disapointment and underachiever in F1. Sure he won races but in 6 seasons he failed to win a championship thus didn't live up to expectations. He had continual troubles with the cars, ruining them many times and hurting his teammates chances of winning on many occasions. His comments regarding Schumacher's "legacy" in America make no sense..drivers don't talk about the legends that way. And if he is saying that Schumacher is nothing in America, why would anyone know him? Cuz he won Indy? Most NASCAR fans could care less about Indy..they don't even know that Tony Stewart won an IRL Championship? Read up on the F1 portion of his career at this link..this explains his issues..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/juan_montoy... Don't forget to read the part that says.."With no apparent chance of a top drive in Formula 1 for 2007, Montoya opted, mid-season, to end his open wheel racing career and make the move to stock car racing and NASCAR"..since you said he could have driven for anyone.

How bout we agree then that it wouldn't have been the ride he wanted? On the popularity, maybe there are no "personalities" in F1 like there used to be. My dad used to take me to Watkins Glen, when F1 used to run there, to watch Andretti, Fittipaldi, Lauda, Scheckter, Peterson, Peroni, Laffite, Hunt, Regazzoni. They were amazing personalities. Anyone who is a true racing fan knows those names! No one in F1 like that anymore!

Same to you! Should be an exciting NASCAR season this year..looking forward to it. Lots of great storylines to follow. Good luck with your drivers!

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He didn't get on with the bosses at his team

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He had no choice. McLaren gave him the boot and no other team was willing to pick him up. Since he and Ganassi had such a good relationship before, Ganassi picked him up and set him up for a new career. I think Montoya wanted it anyways. He wasn't being taken seriously in F1 anymore and he was tired of being in Schumacher's shadow.

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Because he was a sore loser and didn't like being told off for ramming into teammates/other cars like he usually did.

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because he wanted the tougher, more intense competition against the best drivers on earth. he was tired of follow the leader 'racing' with no lead changes or passing, where equipment meant everything and driver skill meant nothing.

@erik: let's not alter the facts here because you are bitter that one of your heros decided to leave F1 for NASCAR. he would have had no trouble getting another F1 ride, the man won 4 or 5 F1 races just 2 short years ago. so don't pretend like the only reason he came to NASCAR was because F1 was 'running him out of town', that's bullsh*t and we both know it. BTW i hear jauqe villinueve(i'm sure i spelled that wrong) is seriously considering makeing the jump also.

on a side note, mantoya has become surprisingly popular over here. i thought most of the fans would sort of resent him, as an 'outsider'. but so far, with just 15 days left until the start of his nextel cup career, NASCAR fans have seemed to embrace him.

you F1 fans crack me up. if he was being run out of F1, if they didn't want him anymore, then why did his car owner act like a 4 year old and pull him out of the car yet refuse to let him come to the US, where he wanted to be, until his contract expired? if they were 'running him out of town', it seems like they would have been glad to be rid of him. but instead, they acted like they resented him abandoning them. i remember when the news first broke, the F1 fans on here were in shock, wondering why he was leaving. and now after months of letting the bitterness build up, you have deluded yourselves into believeing that he only left because he wasn't wanted anymore. the bottom line is he moved on to a better series, so be happy for him and get over it. but you can't do that because to do that would be to admit that F1 is not the premere racing series that all of the best drivers in the world aspire to be in, as you europeans have deluded yourselves into believing it is. as for his big head, he will be a rather small fish in a big pond here, NASCAR is full of great drivers with facinating personalities, so if he comes in acting like a big shot, he'll be cut down to size. so far, that has not been the case. he has been humble and gracious, and that's how he winning over the fans.

you're putting words in my mouth. nowhere did i say he could have driven for ANYONE in F1, what i said was he could have had a ride if he had wanted one. you were implying that no F1 team would have been willing to give him a ride, and you and i both know that's not true. i didn't see his comments about shumacher, but i agree with him in that shumachmer does not really have a legacy here in the US, simply because F1 is not popular here. why do we know who he is? because we are well informed. i'm quite sure people in europe know who jeff gordon and dale earnhardt jr. are too, even though they don't watch NASCAR.

ok, agreed. i respect your position, you're a knowledgable fan.

Who do you think will win the Nextel cup in Nascar this year?

If you could make the same paycheck by only working one day a week instead of five, would you do it? How about if you only had to work 1/10 as hard for it?

He went because NASCAR has high-dollar sponsors and not much else. There is no skill, there are no right turns, and he won't have to concentrate on all the little buttons & dials on his steering wheel.

Montoya will be able to take a nap while driving and win.

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Was a question of money. Top NASCAR drivers are making the pay of other race sports look like penny ante. No other reason.

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The whole thing can be summed up in one dirty little word: politics.

He has a reputation for being aloof and difficult to deal with. His talent was never really in question. He ticked off the wrong people and would have had to have offered his services at a big discount to be picked up by any team. Considering that there were three teams doing anything when he made his decision, and that those teams have their drivers set for this season, he would have had to have driven for a second tier team for less money. Here, he runs a few more races, but doesn't have to fly around the world to do it. It could be a good move for him.

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because nascar is higher paying, more famous and all around better.

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wow, i saw that one idiot said that the best drivers in the world are in nascar? HAHAHAHA! Montoya left because he was not good. End of story.

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Juan is the biggest spoilt sport I have ever seen. Many people in the paddock have been critisising him in 2006. Ron Dennis said that he was very emotional and did not take his physical training serously. In Canada he kicked Nico Rosberg out of the race and in usa he caused the big pile up which angered many people. He also felt that his driving seat in mclaren was not safe and he did not have a chance in a bigger team so he joined nascar. It had nothing to do with money.

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The best drivers in the world in terms of talent are F1 drivers, followed by WRC. But NASCAR racing is fender-to-fender with lots of strategy and lead changes. Drivers and crews are friendly and all speak the same language. Fans are respectful of others and not nationalistic, so they like the driver and not the marque.

In F1 the polesitter wins unless he really screws up. it's boring and the drivers are snobs.

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hey, i read dat som idiots r sayin nascar is da best & nascar's drivers r da best...!!!! (in their dream).....!!

he left f1 bcoz of USA accident inwich he was da main person 4 accident of 8 cars....FIA,bernie ecclstone,other teams & fans complaint about it,so mclaren bosses put pressure on him...

he thot dis da ryt time 2 leave f1.....but he was gud driver as we hv seen him in 2002 to 2005....

i miss him bcoz he is da only person who can do anything after michael schumacher..

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he was going to be fired so he let and as a result went to nascar

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Because he was no adequate competitive in front of Kimi.
Driving the same car, but huge differrent result, make him shame in Mclaren garage.
That way he feel tired when facing Kimi, and he choose to go for the low skill, low car, low fever level racing circuirt.
And...finally he find out he is the 'low' champion guy but not 'fast'..

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For the people saying he came to nascar to make more money, he actually took a big paycut. f1 drivers make way more than the top nascar drivers

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I hate to ruin it for you " Know it all" but the reason Juan Pablo left is strictly for the money. Yes..F-1 drivers make good money with little racing but its more risky. NASCAR isn't as risky and you make a hell of alot more cash. A.J. Almendinger wanted to go to F-1. That's why he went to Champ Car. But he when to NASCAR when he thought the whole thing out. And, yes, they hate him for doing it, but, hes only going where the cash is. Besides..If you remember.. Juan Pablo used to race for Chip back in the day in the CART Series. Plain and simple...its where the money is at.

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He could have joined an F1 team. Williams was willing to take him back, but he didn't care for how they treated him before. He decided that he should get a fresh start, and NASCAR offered him that opportunity.

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