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Montoya names Vettel, Alonso as best on current F1 grid

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Juan Pablo Montoya believes that Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are the most complete drivers currently racing in Formula 1.

Recent IndyCar driver and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Montoya raced in F1 between 2001 and 2006, gaining a reputation for being lightning-fast on-track and forthright with his views off it.

Speaking in an interview with the official F1 website, Montoya was asked which driver on the current grid impressed him the most.

“I would say probably Vettel, he’s one of the most complete guys, and Fernando. I ran with him in my career,” Montoya said.

“I think they’re the best two overall. Lewis does a really good job but he’s in the best car. It’s very easy to think a guy in best car is the best driver.

“But the question is if they weren’t in the best car, how would they handle things? I think Fernando and Sebastien have endured that and I think they’re the best.”

Montoya also said he was impressed by Max Verstappen, who became F1’s youngest ever winner last year at the Spanish Grand Prix.

“I think Max is really good. I think he’s in people’s minds because he’s making moves, he’s aggressive,” Montoya said.

“Does he makes mistakes by being too aggressive? Yeah. But in hindsight he laughs about it and knows he screws up. He’s in people’s minds, you’re getting people’s attention. It’s not a bad thing. The sport needs that.”

When asked to predict who would win the title next year, Montoya backed Mercedes, but hoped that a number of teams would get into the mix at the front.

“Mercedes will be right there. It’d be nice to see Ferrari or Red Bull winning again,” Montoya said.

“It would be nice to see Williams. I think McLaren has all the tools to be here and I think Honda is getting closer.

“I’m not sure they’re gonna be there next year, but I would like to see McLaren running where Ferrari and Red Bull are running right now.”

Dakar Rally video highlights from the concluding Stage 14

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET and Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

The 40th Dakar Rally is now history.

Nearly 550 competitors began the early 5,600-mile long race 15 days ago and concluded Saturday.

As we’ve done throughout the Rally, here are some key video highlights from NBCSN’s coverage of the Rally:

TRUCKS

CARS

QUADS

 

MOTORCYCLES