Montoya raring to overtake Schumacher

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Juan Pablo Montoya is second in the race for the world championship, just six points behind five-time world champion Schumacher.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Juan Pablo Montoya is coming up fast in Michael Schumacher's rearview mirror. Just a month ago, the Formula One driver from Colombia was 17 points and in fourth place behind Schumacher in the drivers' standings after taking second place in the French Grand Prix. Now, after winning the German Grand Prix last Sunday, Montoya is second in the race for the world championship, just six points behind five-time world champion Schumacher and eager to overtake him. Juan Pablo Montoya knows from bitter experience that potentials pitfalls can make him one of many also-rans. In his third season as a Formula One driver, he has experienced several setbacks including pit-stop delays and engine burnouts that robbed him of possible victory. Top gear But the former Indianapolis 500 winner and CART champion is now in high gear. The victory at Hockenheim, Germany, was his second of the season. He has finished in the top three positions in seven of this season's 12 races run thus far. Montoya's certainly hot, but he dismisses rumours that he is considering leaving Williams-BMW for McClaren-Mercedes, though the team is clearly on the Colombian's mind. "Well, about McClaren, it's a rumour. My contract with Williams expires at the end of 2004, after that I'm free. About the opportunities for the championship, well, right now they seem to be very good options for us. But it does not mean that I will win the championship. Everybody in Colombia knows that I'll be driving the best I can," said Montoya. Desperate moves Four races remain, and he could overcome Schumacher at the top of the standings in the next contest: the Hungarian Grand Prix on Aug. 24, featuring a demanding tight and twisty circuit. The Colombian believes the Williams team is fast closing the gap against the Ferraris. Montoya also knows Schumacher is capable of desperate moves to seek the title. In 1997, Montoya was a spectator at the Spanish Grand Prix - the season's last race – when Schumacher rammed Jacques Villeneuve, who was the German's contender for the drivers' championship. Schumacher wound up spinning out of the track. Villeneuve went on to finish, clinching the drivers' title. FIA, Formula One's governing body, ruled the collision was deliberate and censured Schumacher. Montoya, however, doubts there will be a repeat performance of dirty play this season, no matter how tight the battle for the championship gets. (AP)