Coulthard: 'I admire Schumacher'

In the week that saw the newly-crowed world champion Michael Schumacher slate his fellow F1 drivers David Coulthard and Jacques Villeneuve in a German newspaper, McLaren racer Coulthard has said he has nothing but respect for the Ferrari number one

Coulthard: 'I admire Schumacher'

Speaking in Bild earlier this week, Schumacher said: "It's always the same drivers that I have problems with. Guys like David and Jacques. They talk and talk, but they never say anything to my face."

However, Coulthard said in this week's Autosport magazine that he admires the achievements of the triple world champion, perhaps signalling an end to the recent quarrelling between the two drivers.

"I think as an individual Michael is remarkable because of the time and effort he puts into safety," said the Scot. "His enthusiasm for that side is amazing because he could take the pennies, take the results and just go. He has got many good and strong values which I admire."

Coulthard and Schumacher have clashed on numerous occasions in recent seasons after a series of on-track battles. At the Belgian Grand Prix in 1998, Schumacher crashed into the back of Coulthard's McLaren-Mercedes during torrential rain. Coulthard claimed he had slowed to let Schumacher past, but the German driver thought it was a deliberate move to knock him out of the race.

This year there was Coulthard's infamous 'hand gesture' as he tried to pass Schumacher during the French Grand Prix. And Coulthard has also been critical of Schumacher's aggressive starting technique of cutting across rival's bows on the run to the first corner.

Mclaren and Ferrari resume their battle at the final Grand Prix of the season in Malaysia next weekend. Although Schumacher has clinched the drivers' title, the constructors' championship remains undecided, with Ferrrari on 156 points and McLaren on 143.

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