Nascar driver and ex-Formula 1 driver Juan-Pablo Montoya has said he believes all teams have been pushing F1 rules in the past few years and therefore he is not surprised that an espionage saga has emerged.
“It s just how Formula 1 is,â€ Montoya began. “Teams are allowed to bend the rules too much. That s just my personal opinion but I always felt like people bent the rules and that some teams were allowed to bend the rules more than others. But this? This is crossing the line.
“Someone is always cheating. All the teams have photographers who take pictures of everything on the car. Everybody does it. Here in NASCAR, you have the car right next door to you, you can see it and everything on it.
“But in F1, if someone tried a new wing or something, everyone would go and take pictures of it. A million pictures of the wing at every angle and then they’d put it on the wind tunnel and go try it. Everyone copies. It’s just the way F1 works. There are so many ways for people to bend the rules.
“The crazy thing about the e-mails is they aren’t really that big of a deal because you can always find out what everybody else is running,” he said. “Somebody will always open their mouth. You go for dinner, and somebody will say ‘We are running this weight and doing that.’ So most of the time you can find out what people are running anyway. And de la Rosa was always like that.
“He would call people and tell them ‘We tried this, this and this, and this didn’t work.’ So he just sent e-mails that said ‘We need to try the weight distribution of Ferrari.’ But anybody could have found out those numbers without the documents. But I gotta say, I was surprised that since they were taking points, they should have taken the driver points, as well. That is crazy, you know, because they took the constructor points but the drivers gained from the knowledge. So if you are going to do it, do it properly.”
Montoya has also revealed that he felt sorry for Fernando Alonso as soon as he found out that his partner would be rookie driver Lewis Hamilton. “Fernando is a nice guy,â€ Montoya explained. “But he was the No. 1 at Renault and he was used to winning and getting everything. Then he went to McLaren, and when Connie and I heard that Lewis was going to be his teammate, we said ‘Oh my God.’
“We immediately felt sorry for Fernando because Lewis is Ron’s baby. Ron paid his whole career, so Ron wants him to win and not Fernando. He would rather see Lewis win, who is like his own child to Ron. Fernando is nothing to him.”
Montoya drove for McLaren during 2005 and 2006 and believes that the relationship between Alonso and Dennis is similar to the relationship between himself and the boss during his McLaren time.
Ron, outside the work environment, is a great guy,” Montoya continued. “But he’s two different guys. The guy who I signed with and played golf with, he just didn’t exist in the office. He was just a different person, you wouldn’t even recognize him. He wants to control everything and I think Fernando is angry about that because he is not used to someone controlling everything and did not like that Ron was like that.
“I think Ron is used to drivers who don’t say anything back. They are very quiet and very nice and do what everyone says, and I came along and he didn’t like that. Now I guess Fernando is the same way. They try to make them be equal, but Lewis is genuinely a really fast driver. And apart from being really fast, he’s Ron’s favourite. It’s just the truth, and it makes it bad for Fernando.”