Write & Earn
Notifications

5 F1 drivers who did not live up to their potential - Slide 5 of 5

Despite having prodigious talent, Rubens Barichello played second fiddle to Michael Schumacher for most of his career We have seen some immense ta ...

Rubens Barichello Michael Schumacher 2015
Despite having prodigious talent, Rubens Barichello played second fiddle to Michael Schumacher for most of his career

We have seen some immense talent over the years in Formula One. Some drivers started off on a high, displaying their immense talent from the get-go and maintaining it. Others started off relatively unobtrusively, only to build themselves up and become bankable, reliable drivers for their teams. 

Several others were either a flash in the pan  – with sporadic, unexpected bursts of talent and skill – but not doing much else after, while several others have showed immense talent that has not gone the distance.

We profile five of them.

#5 Juan Pablo Montoya

Previous Slide 5 / 5
Juan Pablo Montoya Kimi Raikkonen Williams 2001
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates his win at the Brazilian GP in 2004 with 2nd placed teammate Kimi Raikkonen

Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya began his motorsports career later than many – he was 22 when he first joined Formula 3000, beginning F1 testing the next year for Williams.

Although he ran testing, he would not have his own Formula One seat until 4 years later, when, in 2001, he was signed to Williams. In the meantime, however, he had already won the CART Championships and showed immense promise.

Partnering Ralf Schumacher at Williams, Montoya showed racing skill from his debut at the Australian Grand Prix that year, and through the year showed an uncanny ability to move up the grid quickly after beginning from what would otherwise have been losing positions outright.

Like several other drivers, he was let down repeatedly by engine failures. That was not the only issue that plagued the driver, however, as he found it difficult to find consistency in his form.

He managed to finish a highest of 3rd in the drivers’ championship – two years in a row, with Williams.

Montoya did manage something few others did in the coming years, however – giving a challenge to Ferrari, who had been in charging, dominant form and barely left 1st or 2nd to any other team. Despite no wins in 2002, he managed to finish in 3rd in the drivers’ championship.

After leaving Williams for McLaren in 2005, a decision that had been taken the previous year, Montoya’s form, which had already been on a downward spiral, got worse. The remainder of his F1 career showed very occasional flashes of brilliance, and the end was spelled rather acrimoniously, with McLaren boss Ron Dennis learning via a public announcement that Montoya had chosen to move to NASCAR instead.

Montoya’s contract stood terminated with immediate effect, and he joined NASCAR soon thereafter.

The move proved good for Montoya in the end, though; the Colombian has been racing for Team Penske in the Indy 500 since 2014, and this year finished the championships on top.

Previous Slide 5 / 5
Hamilton: I learned nothing from Rosberg
Hamilton: I learned nothing from Rosberg
Nico Rosberg taught Lewis Hamilton nothing during their time as Mercedes colleagues, according to the four-time F1 world champion.
Hartley's Toro Rosso deal will not affect Porsche status
Hartley's Toro Rosso deal will not affect Porsche status
Brendon Hartley is now a full-time driver for Toro Rosso but his status with Porsche has not changed.
Formula One - Hartley and Gasly to race for Toro Rosso in 2018
Formula One - Hartley and Gasly to race for Toro Rosso in 2018
Formula One - Hartley and Gasly to race for Toro Rosso in 2018
The Mika Hakkinen Interview Podcast
The Mika Hakkinen Interview Podcast
Mika Hakkinen joins us on the Inside Line F1 Podcast this week. Tune in and #JoinThePact to 'Never Drink & Drive'.
Motor racing: Force India count the cost of success
Motor racing: Force India count the cost of success
Motor racing: Force India count the cost of success
Motor racing: Formula E aiming to put reach before revenue
Motor racing: Formula E aiming to put reach before revenue
Motor racing: Formula E aiming to put reach before revenue
Motor racing: Formula One and FIA put security on the agenda
Motor racing: Formula One and FIA put security on the agenda
Motor racing: Formula One and FIA put security on the agenda
Motor racing: Gamers compete for McLaren F1 role
Motor racing: Gamers compete for McLaren F1 role
Motor racing: Gamers compete for McLaren F1 role
McLaren, Pirelli cancel Brazil tyre test due to security concerns
McLaren, Pirelli cancel Brazil tyre test due to security concerns
After Mercedes and Pirelli vehicles were targeted by robbers in Brazil, the tyre manufacturers have cancelled a test with McLaren.
Hamilton: New engine ruling sucks
Hamilton: New engine ruling sucks
Lewis Hamilton thinks changes to be introduced into Formula One next year will make the sport less exciting.
Brazil F1 tyre test cancelled for security reasons
Brazil F1 tyre test cancelled for security reasons
Brazil F1 tyre test cancelled for security reasons
Brazil's best: Massa retirement ends country's 48-season F1 run
Brazil's best: Massa retirement ends country's 48-season F1 run
With no Brazilians signed for the 2018 Formula One season, we look at the country's greatest drivers in a rich history with the sport.
Vettel wins Brazilian GP; Hamilton 4th after starting last
Vettel wins Brazilian GP; Hamilton 4th after starting last
Massa says farewell to Brazilian fans from the podium
Massa says farewell to Brazilian fans from the podium
Massa says farewell to Brazilian fans from the podium
Vettel: Pit stop crucial to Brazil victory
Vettel: Pit stop crucial to Brazil victory
Victory for Sebastian Vettel at the Brazilian Grand Prix owed a lot to the timing of his pit stop.
Massa says goodbye to Interlagos with 'perfect race'
Massa says goodbye to Interlagos with 'perfect race'
After waving goodbye once more to his home fans in Brazil, Felipe Massa hailed a "perfect race".
Vettel's early overtake earns Brazil victory
Vettel's early overtake earns Brazil victory
Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after starting in the pits, but it was Sebastian Vettel who triumphed at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Motor racing: Hamilton hopes to have fun after rare mistake
Motor racing: Hamilton hopes to have fun after rare mistake
Motor racing: Hamilton hopes to have fun after rare mistake
Red Bull attempt to diffuse Toro Rosso and Renault row
Red Bull attempt to diffuse Toro Rosso and Renault row
Dr Helmut Marko said the relationship with Renault is "valued and will remain so".
Lewis Hamilton crashes out in Q1 at Interlagos
Lewis Hamilton crashes out in Q1 at Interlagos
In his first race since securing a fourth F1 world title, Lewis Hamilton suffered the ignominy of crashing out in Q1 at Interlagos.
Fetching more content...