Coulthard: Points System Benefits Schumacher

Formula One's changed points system has helped Michael Schumacher despite being designed to slow the Ferrari driver's road to a record sixth title, according to rival David Coulthard.

Coulthard: Points System Benefits Schumacher

Formula One's changed points system has helped Michael Schumacher despite being designed to slow the Ferrari driver's road to a record sixth title, according to rival David Coulthard.

"The system as it stands now should be able to stop him getting a big gap but as it has played out it actually will help him," the McLaren driver said at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

"By the time he starts getting the results that we all know he's capable of, the championship leaders won't be as far away as they were in the past. That's the problem when you change something to suit a certain scenario that doesn't play out...you gain and lose with the new thing," the Scot told reporters.

Schumacher, winner with six races to spare last year with a record margin of 67 points, has yet to finish on the podium after two races in the worst start to a season in his 12-year Formula One career. McLaren have won both, with young Finn Kimi Raikkonen leading the championship.

However with the new 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system rewarding the top eight finishers rather than the top six in previous years, Schumacher still has eight points while Coulthard has 10 after winning in Australia and failing to finish in Malaysia.

Under the old 10-6-4-3-2-1 system, Coulthard would still have had 10 points but Schumacher just four.

Clear Gap

Schumacher has won four times in Brazil in the past and Coulthard said there was still a clear gap between McLaren and the World Champions when it came to outright pace.

"Look at their Friday pace in Australia and Malaysia -- they were a second quicker. So there is still work to be done," said the Scot. "But there's no point having a quick car that can't finish. What we've had in the past is a quick car and a reliable car and that's what we aspire to."

Coulthard has long maintained that Schumacher is susceptible to pressure and he returned to the theme following criticism in Germany and Italy of the Ferrari driver's rare error in Malaysia two weeks ago. One German newspaper went so far as to label Schumacher 'Dumi' (stupid) in a pun on his nickname Schumi.

"Whether it's us or them, anything negative is destabilising because you have to react to it," said Coulthard. "You all know it as fact. His chink in his armour is when he's under pressure. Apparently media-wise it's been pretty messy as well because he's had to react to what's happened in the first two races.

"He's sensitive to that, just like any of us are."

Coulthard, sidelined in Malaysia by an electrical failure, said he simply wanted an equal opportunity to race the German and would not wish misfortune on him.

"He can have the same reliability that I have. I'm one race down so I'd like him to be one race down -- if we can have the same reliability then that would be fair," he said. "I'm being idealistic. What I want to do is win outright races against the best driver in the world with equal opportunities. I've never wanted the unfair advantage.

"You've got to look at yourself in the mirror when you go home....did you really win outright? Can you really look at yourself and say I was the best on that day?"

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