Montoya walks out of news conference


MELBOURNE -- Fiery Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya was all smiles on Thursday as he faced the media without walking out or being asked to play golf with anyone's

Montoya was furious on Wednesday when two comedians from a
satirical Australian sports show interrupted a poorly attended
news conference at a Melbourne racetrack by asking nonsensical

By contrast, the Williams driver looked completely relaxed
at another news conference before Sunday's Australian Grand Prix
a day after he made headlines by angrily quitting an engagement
with team sponsor Allianz.

But Montoya, a frontrunner to win the Formula One
championship this year before joining McLaren in 2005, said he
still failed to see the funny side of the incident and pinned
the blame on event organizers.

"The sponsors can't really say anything because the sponsors
were the guys who let them (the comedians) in," he said.

"They probably wanted to play a joke on me and it didn't
work as planned."

One, answering his mobile telephone as Montoya was speaking,
asked the driver whether he would play a round of golf with his
grandmother. The Colombian then brought an end to the
proceedings and stalked off.

"When you are doing a day for a sponsor you've got to be
very professional in what you're doing," he said. "And when it's
not handled professionally, I don't think you've got to be

"If you're in a place where you are joking and having fun,
it's all right. But I didn't find it funny -- a guy asking me if
I wanted to play golf with his grandmother or whatever."

Montoya shrugged off a suggestion that his action might
reflect badly on Formula One.

"I don't care to be honest," he said.

"I talked to Frank (Williams), Frank is OK with it. He
said to me 'I'm glad you behaved in a good way, it's a shame we
couldn't complete the day'.

"There was some friction but it wasn't in front of anybody,"
added the driver when asked about reports of an altercation

"It was a closed room. We had a discussion about it and I
told them why I was leaving."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis, who predicted Montoya would be
probably the hardest driver for his team to beat this year, said
he was not concerned by his behavior.

"Why would I be concerned about that? Juan is a driver for
the Williams team," he told Reuters.

"In a situation like that, an event that is being managed by
either a sponsor or a team, the team should have stepped in and
stopped what was basically a publicity-seeking objective of two
Australian comedians.

"Putting aside whether Juan Pablo's reaction was the right
one or not, it shouldn't have ever happened."