Juan Pablo Montoya is the guest on this week’s episode of Formula 1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, and he is briefly joined by his son Sebastián in what is an entertaining cameo appearance.

The Campos Racing driver sat down to talk about his karting origins, their relationship, the start of the 2024 Formula 3 season and much more.

On whether they had doubts about Sebastián becoming a racing driver…

Sebastián Montoya: “Yes, when I was very, very, young. When we would go to Colombia, I used to ride dirt bikes and when they got me a go-kart, I would think to myself ‘why would I want to do karting? That’s too slow. My motorcross is quicker, why would I?’ Then they gave me a bigger go-kart and I went, ‘this is nice.’ Then they gave me a faster one, I went ‘this is nice’ and then a faster one and I went ‘yeah, this is it.’”

Juan Pablo Montoya: “It’s kind of funny because we gave him a baby kart, but we limited the hell out of it because he’s like three or four years old and you don’t want him to go and hit his head into the steering wheel, and it’s a little track, so we limited where he could go flat out. He didn’t enjoy it too much, he wasn’t too keen and back home in Columbia, we gave him some kid quads and I think that’s where it came from. Once he got old enough where we felt he could drive without injuring himself then we turned it up.”

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Sebastián on having a father who has been there and done that in motorsport…

SM: “It's really good because he knows a lot. It's very annoying because he knows a lot so he’s right. I think that was really difficult at the beginning because our relationship was father and son. When I started going through karting, it was ‘my dad's really annoying. Just calm down man, you’re not that good.’ And then you just kind of go, ‘well maybe he is that good. If he’s won a couple of races, I think he’s decent.’

“The biggest moment that I went, ‘yeah, he’s good’, we did a couple of endurance races together and we were racing Watkins Glen. In practice I was a bit quicker than him. I remember we got into the race and the fastest lap was his. Then I started pushing and pushing and pushing. In F3, F4 and Regional, you have to manage the tyres, just like in F1, and in endurance racing, there’s no tyre management.”

Sebastián spoke about the influence his father Juan Pablo has had on his career
Sebastián spoke about the influence his father, Juan Pablo, has had on his career

Juan Pablo on being nervous watching Sebastián…

JPM: “It sucks! It’s so much better being a driver. It’s a cool experience but the dad side is hard. You’ve got to be there in the good and the bad and the evil. We went to Bahrain to do pre-season testing and he was sick, he did 15 laps in 3 days. We did a 12-lap long run and a couple of short runs, but he was so sick we didn’t learn anything. Then you get to the race weekend when everybody did a full three days of testing, we haven’t done anything, and you do one lap in practice. It’s tough because they had all the references they thought they needed, none of them work and you go wide and you miss the corners in that single lap. Next you go out to qualify, so where do you start? You’ve only got three goes at it and it makes it really hard.”

Sebastián on the best advice Juan Pablo has given him…

SM: “Enjoy it. You put so much work into it and you forget to enjoy. In Bahrain, I worked all winter for those three days - you work every single day, go to the gym, get the reps in, go on the runs, those bad days when you don’t want to get out of bed and you do it, just for those three days, you’re ill and you do 12 laps. You just kind of go, ‘you have to be kidding me, really?’ Something in Bahrain that I realised is, I have an amazing opportunity, I’m racing F3, I’m really fast, it’s just one of those things where you have to step back, realise all the work you’ve done and where you are now, and just go ‘It’s not too bad, it’s quite nice.’”

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Sebastián on how he feels now having missed a lot of testing due to illness…

SM: “I think something quite good is that in the second year I have the experience, so I can back that up with experience of last year. Last year I was with Hitech, this year I’m with Campos, so learning the car, how you have to drive it, obviously it’s quite difficult. Three days of testing doesn’t sound a lot, but in F3 when you have one practice and you do a lap, it makes a big difference.”

Sebastián on his plans for the future…

SM: “It’s quite difficult to plan how it goes. Oscar (Piastri) is a really good example. He won everything until Formula 2 and then you’re a year out. Nowadays, it’s really hard to plan exactly what you’re going to do but for me the goal is Formula 1. This is my second year in F3, I’m going to be fighting for the championship, that’s my hope, I’m going to be fighting for wins. That’s the plan I have. Next year, Formula 2, and see what happens after that.”