David Coulthard Q&A

After qualifying, the Hungarian GP looked like being a disaster for McLaren, especially as the track's slow, high-downforce nature was expected to favour the silver cars. But a good strategy and a charging performance from both men earned fourth and fifth places for Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard. Not usually a result worth celebrating, but a good one nonetheless. Can the team make progress in the remaining races and into next season? Adam Cooper heard Coulthard's thoughts

David Coulthard Q&A



"The balance still shifted quite a lot during the race, and you can see with my pace. Sometimes I was running low-17s, sometimes I was running 18s. It just seemed to be a big variation in the way the car works the tyres. At some points I thought the car feels better than qualifying, and at other points early on and after a set of tyres I thought 'I'm going off', because there was so much oversteer."



"Yeah, I did. I just got too much oversteer. To be honest I was following one of the Saubers and Kimi, and when you're in that sort of situation you're a bit more conservative in certain corners, and you try and push where you think you might get an opportunity to overtake. I just went into the corner and the car lost the back end. That's how difficult it is to drive at the moment."



"Ralf has been very strong in the last couple of races. There's all this hype about Montoya, and it's building during the year. The guy is very quick, there's no question, and I think his qualifying earlier in the year showed that. But whenever it comes to wheel-to-wheel racing, there's always an incident. With me we crashed and both lost points in Nurburgring, hence me being sensitive to it and hence me bringing it up. And then Kimi pulled a fantastic manoeuvre on him, and what did Montoya do? He drove himself off the circuit. He's got this inability to just accept that he's been passed, so what he'd rather do is either go odd or take both cars. To him that seems to be OK and acceptable, because you're not giving up your place. Sometimes you've just got to give it up."



"Rubens holds the best opportunity for runner-up spot, and it will really just be if they were slipping up themselves that we would gain in that area. Yes, I want to finish as high as I can, because that means I'm finishing races and scoring good points."



"It is worrying, because we're having to pin a lot of hopes on the fact that the new package will give us performance. If we don't roll out the new car and go a second quicker, it's going to be potentially another year of chasing Ferrari."



"Yes, I think it's typical of McLaren that when they feel they need to make changes, they're not scared to do it. In this case what they've done is not replace anyone, they've just strengthened the team. McLaren get bigger and bigger all the time, and it's the same with a lot of these teams. When you see some teams downsizing, and hear of some teams going under, it's amazing when you see someone like McLaren growing. But that's the level of investment that they need to produce a car that will allow Kimi and I to compete with Ferrari. At the moment, we don't have that."



"They'll all reasonably fast tracks. To be honest the key lies more I think in how the tyre performs. We won't have a really strong qualifying in any of those races, but places like Spa and Monza are one-stop races, and we might have a strong performance through consistency and less wear on our tyres. So that might get us in front of Williams again. But I think Ferrari have enough in hand. I think that the two exceptional races this year were Monaco and Magny-Cours - Monaco because we were able to run a much softer tyre than Bridgestone brought and we got the better of Williams at the start, and Magny-Cours because it's a very smooth circuit. It's not dissimilar to what you used to see with Leyton House many years ago. At Ricard and Silverstone they used to perform well, but everywhere else they didn't perform."



"Yes, but you could have said the same about McLaren as well, and things changed. Certainly I think they can carry this performance into next year, but beyond that I think it's a brave man that would say it's just an indefinite performance. You have to keep upgrading all the time."

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