Coulthard: MP4-17 Still Competitive

David Coulthard sees no reason why his McLaren-Mercedes team should not be competitive in the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend despite continuing to use a version of last year's car.

Coulthard: MP4-17 Still Competitive

David Coulthard sees no reason why his McLaren-Mercedes team should not be competitive in the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend despite continuing to use a version of last year's car.

Ferrari have moved into the lead in the Constructors' Championship with three successive victories following McLaren's impressive start to the year. But Coulthard, whose teammate Kimi Raikkonen lead the drivers' standings, believes they can be competitive around the streets of Monte Carlo - where he won last year - despite McLaren's new car remaining on the sidelines.

Asked if he expected to be competitive with the older car, he said: "Yeah, I think that certainly Kimi has done a podium every race that he has finished and that is pretty competitive. I haven't had the same fortune and I have made a few mistakes so I have paid the price for that.

"The Ferrari looked strong in Austria but it didn't look quite so strong in Barcelona. I think what you are seeing is a variation - circuit to circuit in terms of the tyre performance. If Michelin have a stronger tyre here you can expect that all those guys around about are going to look pretty strong relative to Ferrari."

Test driver Alexander Wurz tested the new MP4-18 at Paul Ricard last week, but McLaren experienced a number of teething problems and are expected to debut the new machine in the European Grand Prix. Coulthard has no fears that the old car will continue to do a positive job in both Monaco and Canada and expects to be able to challenge for podium results.

"The new car was in another garage and it was doing another programme, so it was not really possible to follow what they were doing," Coulthard said. "I think you would hope that any new car would go onto the track, be three seconds faster than anyone else then you would just polish it and take it to the next Grand Prix.

"But that is fantasy rather than reality and it will be ready when it is ready and then we will take it racing and hope to get some results."

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