Coulthard gives best to Hakkinen

David Coulthard's qualified second for the Austrian Grand Prix after a gamble on the weather in qualifying didn't work out as he had anticipated. The 29-year-old gambled on a rain shower later in the session and did two early runs

Coulthard gives best to Hakkinen

But the rain never came and he ran out of laps as the tension mounted beneath a curious mix of bright skies, dark threatening clouds and warm temperatures.

But Coulthard still starts the race from outside the front row with team-mate Mika Hakkinen on pole.

"I was up against it because I went out early and did two timed laps and meant I didn't have so much time at the end," he said. "I only gave myself the chance to do three runs. The weather forecast was patchy and you have to rely on what you see above you rather than the weather forecast.

"I didn't want to be in the situation of believing it was going to be dry and missing an opportunity if it rained. In the end it was completely dry and that didn't work for me."

Coulthard becomes the most experienced Scottish Formula One racer on Sunday when he contests his 100th Grand Prix - one more than his mentor Jackie Stewart. The race will start amid a festering row about Schumacher's ruthless racing tactics, headed by Coulthard's criticisms of the double champion.

While drivers warned of the possible consequences unless Schumacher's dubious manoeuvres are curbed, the FIA has said the Ferrari driver has done nothing wrong.

"Maybe Rubens will offer Michael his side of the grid because Michael will end up over that side of the circuit anyway," joked Coulthard in a reference to Schumacher's tendency to swerve across the track at the start.

The Scot admitted pushing too hard cost him his best chance of toppling Hakkinen.

"I didn't get the first corner right. I was looking more on the entry, clipped the kerb and then lost two-tenths in the run up to turn two and tried to gain it back and didn't manage to get it right. I can't argue against having a holiday after Mika has come back and got pole," he added.

"I'm due to test at Silverstone next week, maybe I should abort that and Mika should do it?"

"I'm reasonably happy with the performance of the car. Where I am on the grid we should still have a reasonable race and a good crack at victory.


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