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McLaren confirm Montoya for 2005 17 Nov 2003

Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Preparations, Imola, Italy, 17 April 2003

McLaren have finally ended the speculation surrounding Juan Pablo Montoya's future by announcing that the Colombian driver will join the team for the 2005 Formula One season.

Montoya, who finished third in this year's drivers' championship, entered the sport in 2001 with Williams. He will complete the 2004 season with the team before making the switch to his new employers.

"I am thrilled to be joining Team McLaren Mercedes," said Montoya. "The team is consistently a strong World Championship contender and has a fantastic heritage. It's a great opportunity for me and I'm really looking forward to the first time I will be able to drive one of their cars. To join them is an amazing challenge and experience which I plan to fully enjoy."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis said of the news: "The opportunity to sign a talent like Juan Pablo was too good to miss, and there is already a considerable amount of anticipation within our team about 2005.

"Juan Pablo has achieved a considerable amount of success in his career and we are certain that he will add to this with Team McLaren Mercedes. We are certainly looking forward to seeing what he can do in one of our cars and I believe that it's a prospect that can't fail to excite Formula One fans around the world."

McLaren will confirm their full 2005 driver line-up at a later date, but the team's 2004 Championship challenge will be lead by David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen.