Coulthard believes he can win

David Coulthard has insisted he can win today's Italian Grand Prix and take the world championship down to the wire in Malaysia

Coulthard believes he can win

But his chances suffered a severe blow in qualifying when he was blocked for the second race in succession by Jordan's Heinz Harald Frentzen and could only qualify fifth - directly behind his two title rivals.

"You don't have to be a genius to work out that I've got to keep Mika and Michael behind me but I believe I can do that," said the Scot.

"If I can keep within a win of the championship leader going to Malaysia then I will be in with a chance.

"If there is a 50/50 situation I will going for it," he added. "but not in a
careless way.

"I won't be throwing the car off the track. But I will be looking to get in
front.

"The simple fact is that if I want to win the world title I have got to win
this race."

Frentzen has denied he intentionally blocked Coulthard during Monza qualifying for a race the Scot admits he must win to keep his world title hopes alive.

In Belgium two weeks ago the duo got involved in a tit-for-tat blocking spree which wrecked Coulthard's bid to get on the front row and ultimately had an effect on his race result.

After it happened again in Monza he confronted the German.

"I went to see Frentzen to make sure we weren't having some carry on from what happened at Spa and he has again assured me that was not the case," he said.

"But the fact is my last run was ruined by him. He assures me he didn't see me, so I told him he needs to be a lot more careful on his slowing down laps."

Coulthard believes he could have been on the front row rather than face a stiffer battle from fifth on the grid while championship rival Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen both start directly in front of him in first and third.

But he remains optimistic for the race in which he is trying to claw back Hakkinen's 13 point advantage.

"Despite problems the race is where you score points and not qualifying," he said. "And I believe I will be competitive."

Team boss Ron Dennis also believes McLaren will have an advantage over Ferrari in the Italian Grand Prix.

Dennis' says his conviction is based on computerised race simulation work.

"Qualifying showed how tight it is - that if you are slightly off peak performance you are two-tenths behind," said Dennis.

"But we can take some comfort from the fact that race simulations work here show we can still be very strong here - assuming there is an opportunity somewhere along the line to take advantage of the performance."

shares
comments
Zonta fastest in Sunday warm-up

Previous article

Zonta fastest in Sunday warm-up

Next article

Villeneuve:'Watch out -- I'm coming through!'

Villeneuve:'Watch out -- I'm coming through!'
Load comments
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021