Juan Pablo Montoya has joked that he plans to make his race engineer’s life a misery as he seeks a third victory at the Indianapolis 500.
After winding up his IMSA commitments with Penske last season, Montoya is a free agent and has signed up with Arrow McLaren SP to run in the team’s third car alongside full-time drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist.
Montoya is aiming to utilise his experience at the Speedway to develop his Dallara IR-18 across the month of May in order to claim a third win in what would be only his sixth attempt at the prestigious race.
Working with Montoya will be veteran engineer Craig Hampson, he worked with Sebastien Bourdais to his four successive titles in the early 2000s and at Dale Coyne Racing from 2017-2019, he also worked with Fernando Alonso during last year’s Indy 500.
“Qualifying is a part of it but you need to make sure you can race well,” Montoya told IndyCar.com.
“It doesn’t matter how fast you run over one lap or four laps, it’s how you finish in the race. You need to make sure you have a good race car. I have a lot of knowledge.
“I talked to Sam Schmidt and told him whoever is going to be in charge of my car for those two weeks, I’m going to make his life very miserable.
“I’m going to ask a lot out of him and a lot of what I want out of the car. But if we can get there, we’re going to have a great Sunday.”
“We’re just getting started, I’m excited. I want to get the seat done and a lot of things out of the way to make life easier. It should be pretty good. I’m pretty excited about it.
AMSP had a strong showing in 2020 with O’Ward finishing sixth from a 15th place start, while Oliver Askew briefly led before crashing heavily at Turn 4 after spinning in avoidance of Conor Daly’s ECR car.
“They had strong cars last year. I’m pretty open-minded about it. The only reason I want to do it, is because I want to win it again. There are no points for me, so I’m going there to do the best we can.”