Red Bull have welcomed the son of a former Monaco Grand Prix winner into their junior team, as Sebastian Montoya joins the talent pool that produced Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.
The Formula 1 Drivers’ and Constructors’ champions are hoping to bring another familiar name back to the grid, with Red Bull’s head of driver development Helmut Marko putting faith in the 17-year-old son of Juan Pablo Montoya.
Montoya Sr bagged seven race victories across 94 grands prix between 2001 and 2006, driving for powerhouse teams McLaren and Williams. Montoya Sr also boasts the Triple Crown of Motorsport, having added the Indianapolis 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans to his Monaco glory.
Young Sebastian has a lot to live up to, then. The Miami-born Colombian was already connected to the Red Bull family as a brand athlete but now slots into their academy set-up alongside the likes of Liam Lawson and Dennis Hauger.
A full-time Formula 3 seat awaits Montoya this year, as confirmed my Marko, but he will line up for Hitech at the Formula Regional Middle East Championship first.
Montoya certainly lacks no ambition, confirming the news on Instagram and adding: “This past year, I became part of the brand’s athletes and now we will work together for the ultimate goal: F1.”
The Colombian impressed on his F3 debut last year, filling-in for the injured Hunter Yeany at Campos Racing and scooping seven points at Zandvoort. He was also involved in the Formula 3 post-season tests at Jerez, driving for Hitech.
Red Bull have been busy talent-hunting lately, as Montoya follows Zane Maloney and Enzo Fittipaldi, the grandson of two-time F1 champion Emerson, into the junior team.
Marko gave an assessment of the team’s youth prospects in conversations with Auto Motor und Sport: “First and foremost, the Frenchman Isack Hadjar, whom I call the little Prost because he looks like the big one. Then we have Zane Malone, a talent from Barbados, and Enzo Fittipaldi.
“They will drive for us in Formula 2 and have to prove themselves there. The key is to be consistently at the front there. Our Liam Lawson was not there at times. In the end, he delivered good races again.
“Then we had Jüri Vips, who once said the wrong word and was finished after that. Which is certainly not right either. As a young lad of 21, you can say something stupid.
“Sebastian Montoya is still driving for us in Formula 3. So we have a broad base. But if, like this year, no top driver presents himself, then we look around on the outside market. And that’s where we got Nyck de Vries. At the end of the day, we need drivers who have the potential to win a Grand Prix at some point. And we didn’t have that.”
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