DC’s had enough of ‘best of the rest’

David Coulthard says third place in the drivers' championship means nothing to him.

DC’s had enough of ‘best of the rest’

The Scot needs just one point in Sepang on Sunday to guarantee finishing behind new world champion Michael Schumacher and McLaren-Mercedes team mate Mika Hakkinen. But in the run-up to the final race of the season in Malaysia, he insisted there was no glory in being a runner-up and he was only interested in winning.

Coulthard has finished third in the championship three times in his six-year Formula 1 career and is yet to break into the top two.

"For me, coming third does not mean anything," he admitted. "This is about winning and I have never finished second or first. At least if I finished second I could see it as a step forward.

"I have been third a couple of times now and it is not great to see again. It is not the same as being a double world champion or a triple world champion, but it is important to the team."

Reflecting on his season the McLaren ace said team strategies were part of the reason he had fallen out of championship contention.

"The first half of the season I scored a lot of points," he said, "and in the second half of the year we made some mistakes. Maybe when it came to some of our strategies we didn't make the right call - whether it was Spa or Hockenheim, we didn't quite get it right. Sometimes you need to get those calls right to score the maximum amount of points."

He added: "We have been there or thereabouts in terms of qualifying and pace: it's just the race results that have not been as strong."

However, the Scot has warned his Ferrari rivals he will be doing his utmost this weekend to secure the constructors' championship for McLaren, which is still up for grabs. The Woking-based team must score a one-two finish in Sunday's race with Ferrari taking less than three points, in order to take the title.

DC admitted he is disappointed by his position in the drivers' championship, but insists that he will be putting it behind him this weekend because he wants to finish the season on a positive note.

"I don't really think about whether I am third or fourth," he said. "It doesn't impact my bank balance. There is no bonus.

"It is more about just trying to finish the season on a good race. I want to go out there and do the best job I can. I want to be on the front row and try and win the race. It is business as usual for me."

Coulthard has a nine-point lead over Ferrari rival Rubens Barrichello and just needs to finish in the top six to deprive the Brazilian of a career-best third place. He joked that if the third place mattered enough to his Ferrari rival they could make a financial arrangement.

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