The news of Juan Pablo Montoya going to McLaren in 2005 is definitely 100% official. All the major F1 sites are running this story and there is an official press release on the McLaren F1 site about it http://www.mclaren.com/mediaroom/pre...1117110045.htm
However what is interesting is the timing of this news. It’s a very odd time to announce it.
My prediction is that this move will open up the door for Mark Webber to go to Williams. My understanding is that while MW has a long-term contract with Jaguar he does have an exit clause after next season.
There had been rumours of JPM going to McLaren since the middle of this season, after it appears there was some love lost between JPM and Williams (In particular at the French GP). It is speculated that JPM and McLaren wanted this move to happen for next season, but Frank Williams would not release JPM from his contract (or in other words, he wanted to much money from McLaren to do so).
The rumours then died down for a while however later on in the season (around the U.S Grand Prix – from memory) the rumours surfaced again, this time involving JPM to McLaren, MW to Williams and DC to Jaguar (all for the 2004 season). It sounded like JPM and McLaren were very keen for this to happen, but, Jaguar didn’t want to release MW, nor did DC want to leave McLaren to go to Jaguar (especially considering he has a contract for McLaren in 2004).
Now it appears as if JPM and McLaren have finally given up on trying to make this happen for 2004. But, (and finally back to my original comment) why announce it now? Something doesn’t quite add up. It is certainly going to make it tough for JPM next season. No doubt, Williams’s will favour favour Ralf Schumacher over him – it’s going to make for a very tough season for him.