Coulthard will Drive Fairly Against Schumacher

McLaren's David Coulthard has promised to drive within the rules in the battle with Ferrari for the Formula One world title.

Coulthard will Drive Fairly Against Schumacher

McLaren's David Coulthard has promised to drive within the rules in the battle with Ferrari for the Formula One world title.

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher accused the Scot of unsporting behaviour after the pair touched wheels when battling for the lead in the United States Grand Prix on Sunday.

The German's overtaking manoeuvre helped him secure victory at Indianapolis, leaving him eight points clear of McLaren's Mika Hakkinen in the drivers' championship with two races left.

If Schumacher wins the Japanese Grand Prix, he will be Ferrari's first world champion for 21 years.

Coulthard told Autosport magazine: "I could have easily pushed him (Schumacher) off the circuit.

"But I didn't and I won't in the future because it is not sporting and it is not the way I do things.

"I tried to get around the corner as best I could and, if I am giving him credit for making such a great move, I don't see why he should be giving me a hard time for racing.

"I work for the team and I will do what I have to to help it - but I will not do anything outside the rules."

Schumacher said of the incident: "David ran in such a way where something could have happened - he didn't try to avoid the problem. As he is not fighting me for the championship, I don't know what his thoughts were.

"Driving into someone (to help a teammate win a championship) should not be allowed. We don't want to see that."

Coulthard told Autosport: "I tried to give him as much room as I could and, considering he is not fighting me for the world championship, it was a ballsy move.

"I didn't drive into anyone and Michael pulled off a great move."

Referring to an incident at the Malaysian Grand Prix last year, when Schumacher held up the McLarens to help then-team mate Eddie Irvine, Coulthard said: "Remember Malaysia?

"You cannot do something like that and then say it's not fair when someone else does it to you."

Hakkinen of Finland is bidding for a third successive drivers' title.

The Japanese Grand Prix is on October 8, with the final race, the Malaysian Grand Prix, on October 22.

The last driver to be crowned world champion in a Ferrari was South African Jody Scheckter in 1979.

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