In his first year as a Red Bull Junior Team member, Sebastián Montoya has already dealt with numerous comparisons to his father, F1 race winner and two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya. Despite what many may think, these comparisons are not an issue for the 17-year-old, who talked openly about the upside of the relationship he and his father have.
By Gerren Scapens
Speaking on the latest episode of the Feeder Series Podcast, soon-to-be F3 driver Sebastián Montoya explained how this family dynamic does not play on his head too much.
“It’s funny because it helps me in a way,” he said. “At the end of the day, he’s my coach as well. And when we are at the track, he’s not really my dad. He’s just my coach, and he’s the one that is there to help me improve my driving and be a better driver at the end of the day. So I look at that as like a plus side.”
The father-and-son pairing also competed together for DragonSpeed in several races of the 2022 IMSA SportsCar Championship, which brought with it new challenges.
“A negative side also is that people always look at you as the son of Juan Pablo Montoya. Especially when you’re racing in a new championship or something and they hear the last name, you don’t really hear the positive things about that sometimes,” the younger Montoya recalled.
“When I was racing in the US sports cars with my dad, they were usually telling drivers, ‘Okay, Montoya’s behind’. Which one now?
“It was really funny because I’m not sure if it was because of previous history, but I was trying to pass a couple cars, and every time I would just get next to them, they’d turn into me and hit me and I would be like, ‘It’s my first race!’ I’m sorry if I did something to you, but I’m okay – trust me, I’m chill.
“Honestly, it has its good sides, its bad sides, but even if I didn’t have the last name, I think there would still be negatives because people always talk about you and everything,” he continued. “Some people race you harder. Some people are a bit more aggressive. Sometimes, they go a little bit too far.”
And sometimes, they also see that Montoya’s father is just like many other parents.
“My dad is probably the biggest supporter I have, and he’s helped me so much. He’s already made it – like he’s won F1, he’s won in IndyCar, he’s won in NASCAR and he’s won in WEC. Honestly, just to have him there and to guide me, I think it’s really good.”
Even if I didn’t have the last name, I think there would still be negatives because people always talk about you and everythingSebastián Montoya
Like most racing drivers, Montoya is competitive. Having multiple athletes in the family breeds competition, one that helps Sebastián grow as a competitor and as a driver.
“I wouldn’t really say I do my own thing. Me and my dad are very competitive, so we always mess around. Whatever he did, I just want to do better.
“That’s the way we look at it because we’re a very competitive in the family, like very, very, very competitive – even if we’re playing golf, we’re in the gym, we’re playing paddle, whatever it is. Between us, it’s just whoever does it better,” Montoya said. “It’s more like a family challenge thing than anything.”
Header photo credit: Dutch Photo Agency / Red Bull Content Pool
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