Coulthard: Don't Rule Out Raikkonen

David Coulthard believes his former McLaren teammate Kimi Raikkonen could yet emerge as Formula One champion this season

"I think this year could be a three-way fight for the Championship between Alonso, Michael and Raikkonen," he said in a column for Scotland's Daily Record newspaper on Friday.

Spain's Fernando Alonso has won the last three races for Renault and leads the standings while Ferrari's seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher came back strongly at Imola last weekend after a faltering start to the season.

"At the moment the money is still on Alonso. He has been faultless, while Kimi and Michael have made a few mistakes," said Coulthard.

"Both, though, are capable of leap-frogging Alonso. Spain will be another open race. The track has been resurfaced and is very slippery in the mornings and that will make Sunday qualifying interesting."

The next Grand Prix, a home race for Alonso, is at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on May 8.

Coulthard, 34, left McLaren last season and joined Red Bull. He scored points in the first three races but finished behind Vitantonio Liuzzi on Sunday in the Italian's Formula One debut.

The Scot was 13th while Liuzzi was 10th.

Coulthard said the San Marino Grand Prix had been very disappointing for him but shrugged off being beaten by his rookie teammate.

"It is clearly a mark in the sand for the future but I am not so worried," he said. "If you are quick you are quick. What I have now is experience and that counts for a lot."

Coulthard was not happy with the balance of his car: "We have taken a step back. We have a test before Barcelona next weekend and unless it's sorted then we will continue to get worse."

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