Juan Pablo Montoya on the 'difficult character' of Helmut Marko

“It was tough at the time, but in the end he made me a better driver"

by Sead Dedovic
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Juan Pablo Montoya on the 'difficult character' of Helmut Marko

Juan Pablo Montoya spoke about the years under Helmut Marko's leadership. Marko is not an easy man to work with, but Montoya tried his best at every moment. He knew that Marko was doing things for his good. “It was tough at the time, but in the end he made me a better driver,Montoya said, as quoted by motorsport.com “He always yelled that I had a lot of problems and that I was crazy and everything.

But he did so with the right intentions. He was pushing me all the time to be a better person. I remember one time he invited me to have lunch at his house. I was served a salad, but I didn’t eat vegetables in those days.

He then made me run back to his office. It was more than an hour of running. At the time I was very angry with him, but looking back I realise it was his way of pushing me forward. Living in Graz and everything, it’s been a good experience for me.

I hardly had any money at the time, but Helmut took good care of me."


Pablo Montoya and Ricardo Zonta

Montoya also spoke about the lost title to Ricardo Zonta. Helmut Marko is still angry with him for that and thinks that he gave away the championship.

"He is angry with me to this day,” he said. “He thinks I deliberately let the championship run in the penultimate round in Mugello. We simply had the top gear set incorrectly. Every time I went to top gear, the engine started to stutter, because the gear was made too long.

Jason Watt sat in front of me. I always rode towards him with playful ease, after which I seemed to pass him. But once in top gear, he drove away from me again. And so it went throughout the race. That was so frustrating. But Marko still thinks I gave away the championship”.

Helmut Marko
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