Coulthard slams Minardi drivers

David Coulthard has lashed out at the Minardi team for costing him second place in the Hungarian Grand Prix, claiming that drivers Marc Gene and Gaston Mazzacane thwarted his chase of Michael Schumacher

Coulthard slams Minardi drivers

Coulthard finished third, only half a second behind Schumacher, and has also slipped to the number three spot in the championship as his team mate Mika Hakkinen romped to victory in Budapest. Had Coulthard not been delayed by the Minardi duo, the McLaren ace insists it would have been a different story.

"It felt like there were four Minardis out there, not two," said Coulthard. "Everyone saw how close it was when I came out of the pits after my second stop. There was probably just a car's length between Michael and me, but I had lost a lot more than that behind the Minardis. Without them I could have got out in front of him."

The Minardi drivers were suitably defensive over the Scot's comments, Gene in particular.

"I disagree that I have done anything wrong," insisted the Spaniard. "I don't know about my team mate, but I did not do anything different to Coulthard than I did to Schumacher."

Light-hearted talk of conspiracy from DC - as both Minardi and Ferrari are Italian teams and have had close links in the past - was overshadowed by claims from the Scot that he narrowly avoided contact with Gene.

"That was not my fault either," continued Gene. "He tried to overtake at a place where drivers never expect anyone to try and overtake. I was going to let him past at the next chicane."

Coulthard was adamant that he was not merely making excuses for getting stuck behind Schumacher.

"I don't want it to appear I am moaning. I am not," he said. "I am just giving you the facts. I don't mean to be disrespectful to Minardi, but they are in Formula 1 in name only, not on performance."

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