Coulthard confident for Melbourne

David Coulthard is confident going into this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, despite the fact that his McLaren team will be using a revised 2002-spec car for the race

Coulthard confident for Melbourne

The Scot has also said that, despite team boss Ron Dennis' public opposition to them, the McLaren team is looking forward to seeing how the new rules and qualifying system will affect the race weekend.

"We do feel confident that we will have a competitive car for 2003, however we are aware of the challenge and will have to wait and see how we perform in Melbourne," said Coulthard. "We are also looking forward to establishing how the revised qualifying system will demand new tactics to ensure we extract the full potential of myself and the cars."

Coulthard's optimism is based on the strong pre-season testing form of the MP4-17D, a heavily revised version of the car which finished third in last year's World Championship.

Kimi Raikkonen, the Scot's team-mate, is also confident on his return to the circuit which saw him claim his first F1 podium last year. He said: "There is a good feeling of motivation at Team McLaren Mercedes, we have conducted some positive tests with the MP4-17D during the off-season and it will now be great to get back to racing again, particularly in Melbourne."

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