David Coulthard Q&A

It's been a strange season for David Coulthard. The Scot notched up brilliant wins in Brazil and Austria, and took a superb pole in Monaco. Including Magny-Cours, he has outqualified team mate Mika Hakkinen by six to four. And yet his World Championship hopes have taken a hard hit in the past few weeks, and he now finds himself 31 points behind Michael Schumacher with just seven races to go. Adam Cooper caught up with DC in France

David Coulthard Q&A

"It was obviously a flat out race - there was no question that we were all pushing. But I was staying close enough to make it a realistic chance of gaining some places. I almost got Michael at the start."

"To be honest I didn't even realise. So when the team came on and said 'You've got a penalty,' it really came as a surprise to me. But I have to just acknowledge that I obviously flicked off the button too early."

"Naturally it's deflating to see the gap increasing, but because I didn't sit there looking at the points gap when it was four points, I don't notice so much that it's grown. You either win or you lose. So I lose the championship... It can be by 60 points. It doesn't matter if you've lost - I don't want to be, 'Oh, it's only a couple of points.' You either do a job which is capable and deserving of it, or you don't. At the moment we're not, so we need to improve."

"I'm not someone who keeps looking at previous years. I just try to get the best out of each weekend. The easiest way to win is to have the best car and to be performing. Unfortunately when that was the situation here, Mika had a natural momentum that I found difficult to deal with, and that affected the way I was driving the car. If we were in that situation now I believe the performance I would achieve would be better. But it doesn't really matter what I think. That was then and this is now, and we can only do what we can do. If nothing else, as long as I know I'm giving 100 percent, I'll take the positive out of it."

"Again, I can't do anything about it. Electronic development is not my speciality. You need to rely on the people around you, and occasionally in our quest to try and make things better, we miss things and make mistakes. We're only human and it's a human driven sport, despite all the technology that's involved. I'm not any harder on the people that made mistakes than I need to be, because we all can make mistakes. If someone's not prepared to take a risk then you don't arrive at this point in the championship - you'd be one of the other teams that can't afford to take a risk."

"I feel that I'm driving well, but I still feel that I can do more. That's obviously what the goal is, to push more and try and get more out of the weekend."

"I think it's very difficult to know for sure what Mika's excuse is because I'm not sitting inside his body, but I certainly feel that I'm driving better, and I still feel that as I said earlier the potential to improve is there, as the results build. I'm gaining confidence with each season I have in F1, and I have more knowledge of what to try do to get the most out of the car, and help give direction to the team during a Grand Prix weekend. Certainly I'm the only one in the car, so I'm the only one who could possibly know what's happening. I think that is showing in the way I'm driving."

"I think he's had an unreliable start to the season, and the dent in the confidence that you get from that, and the momentum you lose, has an effect. But I don't think he's lost the ability to drive as quickly as he always has done, and still has the potential to win this race as much as any of us."

"No, because pressure is something I believe that comes when you feel you're losing control. I don't think that any of us feel we are losing control. We might not be entirely happy with our performance in the last race and some of the mistakes we've made as a team, but we understand why those things have happened, and as disappointed as you can be, it doesn't do you any good to dwell on those. You learn from them and you push forward."

Schumacher Takes Big Step Towards Fourth Title
Previous article

Schumacher Takes Big Step Towards Fourth Title

Next article

McLaren Seek Change in Fortunes

McLaren Seek Change in Fortunes
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Plus

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022