Former NASCAR, F1, and IndyCar Race Winner Juan Pablo Montoya Reunites with McLaren for Indy 500

Published 12/10/2020, 3:15 AM EST
DOVER, DE – SEPTEMBER 21: Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge, stands next to his car on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 21, 2007 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR)

For the 2021 season, ex-F1 and NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya will reunite with McLaren. However, the big difference is that he will be teaming up with the Arrow McLaren team for the Indianapolis 500. The Colombian veteran is currently on the hunt for his third win at the Brickyard. He obviously feels that a return to his former stomping grounds in his F1 days will be the key to that.

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As it turns out, Montoya holds a unique record of being one of three drivers to win in F1, IndyCar, and NASCAR. Ahead of the 2021 IndyCar season, the 45-year-old is teaming up with full-time drivers Patricio O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist.

After finalizing the deal, the former Chip Ganassi Racing driver confessed to feeling excited to join the outfit. He acknowledged that he and McLaren share some great history back when he raced in F1. Owing to this, he is eager to make more memories at the 2021 Indianapolis 500.

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Can the two-time NASCAR Cup race winner triumph in his McLaren return?

In essence, this is pretty much a McLaren reunion, albeit in a different racing series. After making his debut with Williams all the way back in 2001, Montoya concluded his F1 career with McLaren Mercedes, taking three of his seven career wins.

Before his F1 tenure, he clinched his first Indianapolis 500 win in his rookie season in 2000. 15 years later, he returned to the fray and took his second Indy triumph. After walking away from F1, he competed in NASCAR for nine seasons with Chip Ganassi Racing, winning two races.

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I’m delighted for Juan to rejoin the McLaren family and return to the Indianapolis 500 with Arrow McLaren SP,” said Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing.

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“He is an intensely competitive, highly versatile driver, with deep experience at the top level of motorsport and a big following. Having him with us at the 500 next year will be great for the team and IndyCar fans everywhere.”

Truthfully speaking, Arrow-McLaren is fielding a very strong line-up. O’ Ward is an excellent driver, and Rosenqvist has proven his mettle in a number of racing series. With Montoya on the team, it adds a healthy dose of Indy 500 experience.

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Dhruv George

12942 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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