Lowndes: Montoya "got to me mentally"

Craig Lowndes says his Formula 3000 teammate Juan Pablo Montoya was demanding and "arrogant" in their time together in 1997.

Lowndes: Montoya "got to me mentally"
Juan Pablo Montoya, RSM Marko
Juan Pablo Montoya, Lola T96/50-Zytek Judd
Juan Pablo Montoya, RSM Marko
Craig Lowndes, RSM Marko
Juan Pablo Montoya, Lola T96/50-Zytek Judd

The Supercars legend endured a difficult season as Montoya’s teammate at RSM Marko in F3000 back in ’97, which ultimately led to Lowndes heading back to his plum Holden Racing Team ride in Australia and abandoning his Formula 1 dream.

Reflecting on that tough excursion overseas in an interview with Fox Sports’ Inside Supercars show, Lowndes admitted that the eventual race winner in F1, CART Indy car champion and two-time Indy 500 winner was a formidable intra-team rival.

“[Montoya] was a different character," said Lowndes. "He was probably the only driver in my lifetime that actually got to me mentally.

“He was a very aggressive person as a personality and as a driver. He was arrogant."

Montoya took three wins and went on to finish runner-up in that ’97 F3000 championship, as Lowndes finished only 14th, with a best finish of fourth. Montoya clinched the title the following year with Super Nova Racing.

Lowndes continued: “He’d never done a day's work outside of driving. His parents had paid for him the whole way through. He drove that year in the team without a sponsor on the car.

“He demanded everything, he got everything, he was just a lot different to me and it is brutal over there.”

Having come to Europe as the reigning Australian Touring Car Champion, Lowndes added another two ATCC titles to his CV in 1998 and 1999 after returning home.

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