McLaren mystified by DC's cockpit calamity

David Coulthard's scary moment in Sunday's British Grand Prix, when his cockpit's padding was ripped out of the car on the exit of Copse Corner, was caused by the failure of a stainless steel catch

McLaren mystified by DC's cockpit calamity

McLaren's engineers were left scratching their heads after the incident, which caused a Safety Car period and necessitated an early stop for the McLaren ace, who fought back to take fifth place.

"There were two stainless steel catches and one of them failed," explained team boss Ron Dennis. "We don't know why, we've never had a failure before, but the two components were still attached. David radioed in but once the wind got behind the padding, it ripped it out.

"We were keen to try to go longer but that padding is something against which the drivers lean their heads, so David was getting a bit of neck strain. As it happened, the first Safety Car came out and we were able to change strategy and put him a position of competing."

Coulthard, who once again struggled with the single-lap qualifying and lined up 12th, made a storming start and was ninth at the end of the first lap.

"The team changed the strategy when I came into the pits and the balance became better during the race so I managed to do some really quick laps at the end," he said.

The Scot battled his way through to fifth place, demoting Cristiano da Matta's Toyota and Jarno Trulli's Renault in the closing stages. The Scot also set the second fastest race lap, behind race winner Rubens Barrichello.

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