Coulthard downplays Spa row effect

David Coulthard has rubbished suggestions that Formula One risks being damaged by the Belgian Grand Prix controversy - and instead says it will move on quickly from the events of last week

Coulthard downplays Spa row effect

While the debate over Lewis Hamilton's 25-second penalty at Spa raged on in the paddock at Monza on Thursday, Coulthard said that he would seek clarification about the rules regarding chicane cutting in Friday's driving briefing before expecting the focus to revert to racing.

When asked whether he felt F1 risked losing fans over the matter, Coulthard said: "You can start micro-analysing all this, saying it is bad for the kids and so on. If you want to look at all these things, then the answer to your question can always be yes.

"But, you can do two things in life - you can dwell on the past or you can try and get clarification on things and move forward. That is the way I live my life.

"In the drivers' briefing tomorrow we will try and get clarification about the conditions we are racing under and we will move forward. And when some fans go, some fans come. That is the natural evolution of life."

Regarding the incident itself, Coulthard said that although Hamilton did give the lead back to Raikkonen, there was obviously a belief by the stewards that the McLaren driver gained a further advantage.

And he said that, whatever the varied opinions are of the matter, it was important the sport respected decisions made by the stewards.

"The rules as we understand them as drivers if that if you gain advantage then you should give that position back. So that means if you overtake under yellow you should give that position back; if you miss a corner and gain a position you should give it back.

"In the simplest way as we see it, he fulfilled that criteria. The area that obviously the stewards have applied a penalty for is, did he gain an advantage by missing the corner? Did that allow him to be in the slipstream of Raikkonen where he would not have been had he actually taken the corner normally?

"It is a very difficult one for us to know, at the end of the day in any sport and in any walk of life, you are controlled by certain rules and regulations and you will not always appreciate them, or agree with them, but as long as they are applied consistently then that is the world in which we live.

"Whether you like it, whether I like it, whether Lewis likes it, whether thousands of fans like it, they are the stewards, they are the police of our sport, and they have to be consistent in their behaviour."

He added: "At the end of the day this is a sport. There are a set of rules and regulations, and the race track is defined by the white lines. In Monaco you don't cut corners, you hit barriers.

"You can argue it was not Monaco, but the driver would have respected the corner if there was a barrier there. Lewis knew there was no barrier so he cut the corner.

"He did not need to go across there particularly, he did because he tried to go side-by-side with Raikkonen and Kimi squashed him in that position. From a driving point of view you have to look at the white lines as barriers."

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