Coulthard slipstreams to P2

David Coulthard snatched second position on the grid for the United States Grand Prix thanks to a tactical decision by McLaren technical boss Adrian Newey

Coulthard slipstreams to P2

Coulthard confirmed it was Newey's suggestion to have title-leader Mika Hakkinen give him a tow down the long main straight of the new Indianapolis track giving the Scot a vital burst of extra speed as he started his final flying lap.

"Adrian came across on the radio and asked me if I thought it would help if Mika gave me a tow," he said. "Of course, the answer is always yes.

"It certainly gave me a little extra speed down the straight.

"It's a good thing and I thank him for doing it. But I still had to do the other 13 turns of the track on my own and I'm quite happy with my effort.

"Nevertheless, I made a big gain on that run."

Having beatean Hakkinen qualifying the Scot believes he can also beat Michael Schumacher in the race.

Despite starting from the dirty side of the track, Couthard believes he can beat pole-winner Schumacher away from the startline.

"I feel pretty confident I can get the jump at the start," he said.

The British No1 had to abort an earlier attempt to make the front row of the grid when he ran way wide over the plastic kerbing on the exit of Turn 7.

"I just got on the power too early and got a lot of oversteer," he explained. "I tried to get away with it, but the car went a bit too far over the kerb."

The big question is whether Coulthard will be called on to follow team orders and support Hakkinen's bid to extend his title points advantage over Schumacher.

Team boss Ron Dennis has said the Scot will be allowed to race for victory but admitted there were contingency plans drawn up to implement team orders in the race if necessary.

The Finn starts behind Coulthard in third and his main title rival Michael Schumacher starts ahead of him on pole.

Coulthard is third in the championship with 61 points - 19 behind his team-leader - and still has a mathematical chance of claiming the crown, although it is remote.

For the starting grid for the US GP click HERE.

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