French GP row made JPM leave

on

Williams technical director Patrick Head has admitted to Autosport that he thinks it was the radio argument during last year's French Grand Prix that led to Juan Pablo Montoya signing for McLaren for 2005.

The conflict at Magny-Cours arose when Montoya began to believe that the team had given his team-mate Ralf Schumacher preference in making his pitstop. The Colombian then launched a tirade on the car-to-pit radio, for which he received a written warning from the team.

"I think that Juan was not impressed at having his knuckles rapped and I know the decision to sign with McLaren was taken within a few days of that.

"Juan incorrectly thought that we had notified Ralf of his actions and called Ralf in one lap early. So he was pretty strong on the radio, abusing the team verbally for the next ten minutes.

"And I think then he went into a bit of a sulk and backed off and cruised to the end of the race and maybe finished 15 or 20 seconds behind Ralf.

"Verbally abusing the team on the radio we didn't think was appropriate when the guys had worked their nuts off on the car and done some fantastic pitstops.

"Juan didn't like that very much. We did talk about it. We thought we couldn't have a situation where he pretty much accused everyone in the team from top to bottom of being incompetent twice."

Before his move in 2005, Montoya remains with Williams this year. He maintains that relationship is smooth and that he will be going all-out for the title.