Coulthard happy to go it alone

David Coulthard has shrugged off the fact that he is unlikely to receive support in his bid for the Formula 1 World Championship from McLaren team mate Mika Hakkinen by saying it will be more satisfying if he takes the title by himself

Coulthard happy to go it alone

The McLaren team's strict policy of no team orders until one driver is mathematically out of the running means that Coulthard cannot expect support similar to that enjoyed by his title rival Michael Schumacher at Ferrari.

While Coulthard took a well-fought victory from seventh on the grid in Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix, behind him Ferrari number two Rubens Barrichello was set for a solid second place until the Brazilian was asked to concede to Schumacher in the final laps, allowing the German to take two extra points.

"Michael can't be satisfied by the way he was handed second place on a plate," Coulthard told the Daily Mail newspaper. "I have never had anybody do me a favour. If I win the title without any help, it will be much more rewarding knowing I have done it single-handedly. I have no problem with what Ferrari did, but I know that any points I have scored I have won for myself."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis is fervent about maintaining parity between his drivers, but it may not be long before Hakkinen is forced to play second fiddle. The Finn has scored only four points so far this season, compared to Coulthard's 38 and 42 for championship leader Schumacher.

"If some people believe what happened in Austria is good for motor racing that's fine," said Dennis. "I don't. It wouldn't happen in our team. There will be a time when it will be appropriate for one driver to help the other, but that is still a long way off. The best way to achieve performance is to give both drivers an equal chance of winning races."

The Ferrari team is centred around its triple world champion and Schumacher himself played number two when team mate Eddie Irvine was vying for the championship in 1999. Jean Todt, Ferrari's team principal, defends the Maranello squad's actions and claims the team orders are part of a much bigger picture.

"Do you really think that the people in Formula 1 think about racing just as a sport?" said Todt. "We are part of a big car industry. It is important to win. Me, the drivers, the engineers are here for Ferrari, to help the team win. Sometimes you have to make some hard decisions. We may regret it, but I feel comfortable with the decision we made here."

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