Coulthard blamed for tyre choice

The decision for David Coulthard to start the Italian Grand Prix on intermediate Michelin tyres while most of the rest of front-runners chose slicks was the driver's own, according to McLaren team boss Ron Dennis

Coulthard blamed for tyre choice

Coulthard was forced to pit at the end of the formation lap, change to slicks and start from the pitlane. The Scot eventually finished sixth after the team switched him over to a one-stop strategy to compensate.

"David was quite adamant it was going to stay wet under the trees long enough to go onto the intermediate tyres," said Dennis. "So that's what we chose to start the race on and we switched him to a one-stop strategy when we went to the dry tyres but it wasn't enough to get him any higher than sixth.

"Okay we got some points, but we are not here to get points we are here to win."

Coulthard admitted he was confident about the decision before the start: "When we tested here in the wet it has taken quite a while to dry under the trees, so you have to make a decision before you know what everyone else is doing. I was pretty sure that it was going to be damp for at least the first four or five laps out there.

"Then when we did the installation lap for the grid, it was completely safe to be on slicks so that's why I called to come in start from the pitlane. Maybe we could have finished a little bit higher had I started from the grid but I think that the one stop enabled us to leapfrog people anyway."

Coulthard's were the only points the team scored in the Italian Grand Prix after Kimi Raikkonen's car was once retired with a technical problem. Dennis conceded that it was a big comedown from the euphoria of the Belgian Grand Prix, when the Finn took a stunning victory. "It's pretty disappointing," he said. "I think we had the ability to win the race. You go away sometimes knowing you don't have pace but...

"Kimi possibly sprung a water leak. He had some impact in the first chicane. There were a few people pushed around. He just had a small water leak from the radiator. So it was a sort of agonising slow death and there was no point in failing the engine when we knew he was going to be out before the end."

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