As far as a "higher level of skill" in F1...sorry, just a different type of racing. Jeff Gordon got in Montoya's Williams car in 2003 and was turning laps that were equal to that of F1 drivers...on his first day.Look the main problem with Nascar is that it is not a highly skilled formula of motorsport and anybody that assosciates racing with braking, accelerating, steering and balancing those fectors together is never going to regard it as a high talent sport. I mean look how many of the drivers are overweight. Is there any other sport played at the highest level where the stars can get away with being out of shape? No. Formula 1 drivers are athlethes, Nascar drivers are not.
IMHO, I think Montoya left because he didnt have the dedication to win that is needed in F1. He just wasnt prepared to give it everything to win and thats what is needed in F1. In Nascar he might be able to get away with that lazy attitude but not in F1. Im not saying you are wrong for liking Nascar btw but they cant really be compared and the fact that F1 takes a higher level of skill is undisputable, even if thats not the case with the excitement of the racing.
If there is indeed such a high level of driver required in F1 how do you explain the pathetic bunch that currently fills the F1 grid? Webber,Sato,Heidfeld,Speed,Ral f,Trulli,Fisi,DC....come on, these guys are ordinary drivers,period. They show no qualifying, single lap or overtaking skills. They are mediocre and they prove that perhaps technology in F1 has made it possible for bland drivers like them to succeeed...or at least exist. None of the drivers I just named are as dedicated to their sport as Montoya. Montoya just wants more. He will not settle for just being on an F1 team with no chance to win...like let's say DC. He is a racer. These days F1 doesn't need the Montoya's. Their cars can't overtake so why pay someone who will ALWAYS try to overtake and potentially wreck the car?
Put in a tape of an F1 race from say 1993 and you'll see a great sport. You see a bunch of racers in cars that could race: Senna,Alesi,Mansell,Mika,Prost ...Montoya would have fit right in with this crew.