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Coulthard can't expect any favours, says Brundle

David Coulthard's manager Martin Brundle says the Scot should concentrate on his front-running position in the championship and not the traditionally one-sided nature of his McLaren team, if he is to take his first Formula 1 world title this year, according to this week's Autosport magazine

In the aftermath of the Spanish Grand Prix, McLaren boss Ron Dennis was quick to accuse Coulthard of "brain fade" after he stalled on the grid, but later apologised after a computer glitch was found to be responsible. Observers suggested that Dennis would have been less hasty in his criticising Coulthard's team mate and double world champion Mika Hakkinen.

Brundle, however, believes that Coulthard should concentrate on the fact that he has a 24-point lead over his Finnish team mate and will have equal machinery at his disposal, rather than dwell on the fact that the team may not yet be concentrating all its efforts on him.

"Ron Dennis is the first to admit that there's a special emotional tie [with Mika] following the shunt in Adelaide, "said Brundle, who drove for McLaren alongside Hakkinen in 1994. "But David is always the first to say that the equipment they get is equal.

"I can understand David's position, and I had it when I was there - Ron works on Mika's car and it is a strange feeling when the boss of the team is on the pit wall working on one car. And that psychologically is difficult to get your head round.

"But that's the way it is and you have to build on some other strengths. To do anything in motor racing, let alone F1, you need to go and take it, no one's going to give it to you."

Brundle maintains that Coulthard has always been allowed to take the fight to his team mate, including at Spa in 1999 when the duo collided at the first corner and he was allowed to go on and win the race.

The Woking-based team has a strict policy of no team orders until it becomes mathematically impossible for one driver not to win the championship and, according to Brundle, it is far too early in the season for DC to expect support from Hakkinen.

"There's still 120 points left available," said Brundle. "Michael is the main points scorer at Ferrari and will get all their support. Clearly David won't get that at this point. McLaren has made that absolutely clear - it's still too far from the end to be making those kind of decisions."

Meanwhile, Mercedes Motorsport boss Norbert Haug has hit back at former McLaren driver John Watson for brandishing Dennis as "stupid" for Ron's "brain fade" comments about DC in Spain. Haug refutes claims that Dennis favours Hakkinen over Coulthard.

"Ron and David have a great relationship," said Haug, "and neither of them should be criticised. What John Watson said was complete rubbish and he should speak to us. I have a good relationship with John, but he's never spoken to me about it and he was wrong. It is completely and absolutely unfair to describe us as favouring one driver over another."

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