DC backs retention of traction control

McLaren ace David Coulthard had leant his support to the retention of traction control in Formula 1, following the FIA's announcement that the device would remain legal for 2004

DC backs retention of traction control

Traction control in F1 has always been an emotive subject, with many feeling that it takes away a fundamental driving skill. Coulthard, however, does not agree.

"There's a thing with a few ex-Grand Prix drivers whereby they feel that it should be removed because a fundamental part of driving is obviously control with your right foot, but you still have an influence over how the performance of your car is even with traction control, because it's not as simple as getting to the apex and going to full power," he said.

"If you do that, and use more traction control because you've gone on the power too early, then you cut cylinders, which affects your acceleration down the next straight. You use more traction control, the barrels are open, the fuel is
going in, you use more, and so there are certain skills that we are all aware of as drivers that ex-drivers and people who haven't driven aren't aware of.

"Taking it away isn't fundamentally change who's going to be at the front, and there's still a lot of skill involved in getting the best out of traction control as it stands."

Juan Pablo Montoya backed the Scot's opinion, adding: "It's a good thing, I think, that the electronics are still going to be there because you won't have all these questions about cheating. Using the clutch at the start though, is a good thing because there is a chance for mistakes."

Coulthard does not think that that the ban on automatic gearboxes will have any significant effect, however. "Pulling a paddle of having it done automatically, I don't see a lot of difference. The only possible thing is that if the driver is distracted he might shift a bit early or late and lose a bit of straight-line speed."

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