Williams-BMW star Juan-Pablo Montoya is desperate to win this weekend’s US Grand Prix, because most consider his rival, Michael Schumacher, the favourite to win the season finale at Suzuka.

Williams-BMW star Juan-Pablo Montoya is desperate to win this weekend’s US Grand Prix, because most consider his rival, Michael Schumacher, the favourite to win the season finale at Suzuka.


The Colombian believes he will have to beat Ferrari's five-times world champion – and convincingly so – at Indianapolis to have a reasonable chance of becoming world champion this year.


"We need to keep the ball rolling and make the most of this race because Suzuka is a circuit that really suits Michael's driving style," the former CART champion and Indy 500 winner said.


Schumacher ended a five-race win drought by beating Montoya into second place in Italy last week and the Colombian is now three points behind the German with just two races to go.


"Our car (the Williams FW25) can definitely do well at the Speedway as the power of the BMW engine suits the long straight, so I am anticipating a close fight with our immediate rivals.


"We have two main targets to focus on now - the team needs to secure the constructors' championship and I have to close the gap to Michael in the drivers' standings and, if possible, get ahead of him," Montoya added.


Nevertheless, Williams-BMW is expecting a challenging race at Indianapolis. "From a technical perspective, the circuit is very demanding, as it comprises sections of the legendary high-speed oval and an infield section with lots of bends," BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen said.


Williams chief engineer Sam Michael added: "Indianapolis is a unique circuit with a slow-speed infield section followed by a long straight that takes 22 seconds of full throttle.


"It is interesting for the driver and the engineers as most of the lap requires maximum downforce, while for the straight you want to run as little wing as possible," Michael added.


McLaren-Mercedes’ Kimi Raikkonen is the only other man with a chance of winning the title and the young Finn, who is seven points behind Schumacher, has vowed he will drive "flat out" in the US Grand Prix to keep his title hopes alive.


"I need to get a good result as we are now at such a crucial stage of the championship, and I will be driving flat out to try and achieve this," said Raikkonen. "Monza (where the Finn finished a distant fourth) was not a track that was particularly suited to us and so I did the best I could do. I am now looking forward to the US Grand Prix, where the characteristics of the MP4-17D will be more suited to the track and we should perform better there."


"We are still very much in contention for the drivers' championship with Kimi," said McLaren's managing director, Martin Whitmarsh. "After Monza, this task has been made more difficult, but the championships remain finely balanced. We are now fully focused on optimising our performances at both Indy and Suzuka, and more specifically in the short term on Kimi taking the best result possible at the Speedway, where we believe we will be more competitive."

Original article from Car