In one of the strongest performances by William-BMW this season, Juan-Pablo Montoya was leading the Austrian Grand Prix and on track for victory – but then his engine broke.

In one of the strongest performances by William-BMW this season, Juan-Pablo Montoya was leading the Austrian Grand Prix and seemingly on track for victory – but then his engine broke.

Montoya shrugged off his retirement from the race as "just (a part of) racing". The Colombian admitted that his retirement was a disappointment, but said that the team could comfort itself with the knowledge “that it had the potential to win races”.

"The guys did a great job all weekend, and I'm not angry, what happened was just racing," said Montoya. "Right from the start we were looking really good and everything was working to plan.

“Even when some drizzle came I was catching Michael (Schumacher) at a rate of two seconds a lap, which I think shows the FW25 has some potential, the team is going in the right direction and the Michelin tyres are working well.

"Then I started losing water pressure and I knew the race was over. A shame, but at least we know we have the potential to win," he told .

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen said the team knew that Montoya was having trouble with his water pressure from the start of the race.

"Of course it's disappointing if you retire from the lead of a race," said Theissen. "We were aware that a regulation standard valve which limits water pressure was not operating correctly. The cooling system continuously lost water, and obviously without water even the best engine cannot survive."