Ecclestone tried to lure Montoya back to F1

Juan Montoya and son Sebastian
Juan Montoya and son Sebastian

(GMM) Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone once tried to convince Juan Pablo Montoya to return to the sport.

Out of favor at McLaren, the Colombian scrapped his six-year-old Formula 1 career in mid-2006 in favor of a long-term Nascar deal.

Montoya, now 44, says he never regretted the move.

"When I left, the matter was already closed because there was nothing good for me in Formula 1 and I signed a five-year contract with Chip Ganassi," he told the Colombian sports broadcaster Antena 2.

"After that Bernie Ecclestone called me but I didn't want to go back to Europe. He just said 'ah, ok, thanks'."

Montoya thinks he might have eventually raced in Formula 1 for Ferrari, but his career coincided exactly with Michael Schumacher's most successful years.

"If Michael had not been there I would have considered it because Ferrari was a great team and it still is," he said.

"At the time, Schumacher was the number 1 and being number 2 did not appeal to me at all."

Montoya also admitted being Kimi Raikkonen's teammate at McLaren was not easy.

"There were no big problems, but it was difficult to have a relationship with Kimi because he didn't get into much. We did the meetings and everything, but he didn't get into very much."

Finally, Montoya said he is keen to get back to Europe to once again support the fledgling career of his son Sebastian.

"The problem is that testing has begun already and we have tried to travel but they told us at the airport that being an athlete is not an essential job," he said.

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