Coulthard delighted with third place

David Coulthard became the latest driver to be hit by the pole jinx as he fluffed the start and saw gremlins cost him victory in the European Grand Prix

Coulthard delighted with third place

No one has won from pole since the Hungarian Grand Prix nine months ago.

The Scot miscued his first gear change, fell to third and later as far as fifth, at a rain-gripped Nurburgring. His car was hit by a mystery problem that restricted his speed and made the car very sensitive.

Even so he salvaged third and his fourth top-three finish on the trot.

But with Michael Schumacher winning on his home track and Mika Hakkinen taking second place he slips further behind the leading duo.

"I missed the lights and was just slow to react," he admitted. "Then I was struggling with the rear of the car from the first lap and it was even worse in the damp.

"I was concerned this morning because the car was slow in the warm-up and then, right from the start of the race, I was having difficulty controlling the car.

"When it started to rain it got worse...

"Its a mystery what was causing it, but I couldn't go as fast as I wanted to.

"I drove as fast as I could with the car I had and it was a pretty lonely race because I was just focused on keeping the car on the road.

"The car was very sensitive to everything I did with the steering wheel.

"After going off last year I was determined it would not happen again, so I was in my own little race - and not going very fast.

"This one of my more difficult races and I was fortunate to get third place.

"Im not just happy with these four points - I am delighted."

"The only good thing about these conditions is that you can't ride the kerbs so it was easy on my ribs."

Coulthard is now four points behind Hakkinen and a massive 22 point gulf separates him from Schumacher at the head of the championship.

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