Coulthard predicts another tough weekend

David Coulthard says that unless the McLaren team can dial his car in more effectively to its Bridgestone tyres then he faces another difficult time in the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours this weekend

Coulthard predicts another tough weekend

Coulthard salvaged third place in Sunday's European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, but had to rely on Ralf Schumacher's 10sec stop-go penalty to give him the final spot on the podium. The Scot explained the handling of his car was the main reason for his lack of pace relative to Ferrari and the Michelin-shod Williams-BMW.

"From a balance point of view we were using up the rear tyres quite quickly, so we had a lot of oversteer early in the race which is a little bit different to what we were struggling with in qualifying, so there are two separate issues," said Coulthard. "As you could see, we were quite bit adrift and in the race probably a half second a lap off as well."

This weekend's French GP at Magny-Cours will be another stern test of the Woking squad's mettle - especially in light of being beaten by both its rivals at the circuit in testing earlier this month and the complete lack of running available to it this week.

"We hope to be only four tenths off the pace at Magny-Cours," deadpanned Coulthard. "I don't know. Let's wait and see, but it's a track that, with the nature of the corners, can be quite hard on the tyres. So in qualifying, again, unless the tyre that we have available to us works well on our car there, I don't think we have something in the set-up that we can change. So it's probably something a bit more fundamental."

Despite the gloomy outlook for his title chances, Coulthard refuses to write off his hopes at this stage, despite Michael Schumacher's 24-point advantage over him.

"As I said before I wasn't looking at points and there's no point looking now because the championship isn't decided until it's decided," he added. "I'll keep doing the best that I can and sometimes you can be driving well but not quite have the machinery, and other times you have the machinery and don't drive so well. So I've got to make sure I get both the elements together at the right time."

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