Montoya makes Team Penske debut
26 November 2013 – Former Indianapolis 500, F1 and NASCAR race winner Juan Pablo Montoya completed his first laps with Team Penske on Monday at Sebring International Raceway.
The goal was to get the Colombian, who has raced in NASCAR since 2007, comfortable in the Chevrolet-powered Indy car he will compete in next year.
He turned 20 laps during the morning test session and set times comparable to team-mate Will Power, who the squad brought in to set up the car.
“It's been a pretty windy day and kind of cool, so it's been actually really good. We worked a lot on the car and getting to where I'm comfortable with it. I'm trying to get the car to work for me,” Montoya said.
“The biggest thing is that everything is still happening really fast. It's OK but as it's happens so fast you end up making mistakes. More time in the car and everything will slow down and it will be easier. That's kind of normal and it's happened to me before a few times, so I know that with time everything will be easier. I'm happy.
“You always want more, but what's amazing and great is the people at Team Penske. Their dedication and people are unbelievable.
“I'm honoured to be here. Gil de Ferran told me that you will not believe when you work with these people and he wasn't kidding. Every person on this team cares. It's pretty unbelievable.”
Montoya will now return to the car for another day of testing at Sebring on Tuesday and while he gave himself a grade of 8 out of 10, he said his goal for the test is to gain knowledge that he can use to help the entire team get better.
“Do I want to win? Of course I want to win,” he added. “Do I want to do the best I can. Yeah. How good is that going to be? I don't know. You have to beat Will, who is one of the fastest guys in the series. Helio [Castroneves] has a ton of experience. I ran against him when I won the championship, and he's still doing it.
“For them to get in the car every day, this is there home, and I need to make this my home [now],” concluded the 38-year-old.