McLaren Tell Coulthard to Raise his Game

David Coulthard has been warned he must improve his performances this season after another poor showing in qualifying ruined his chances of a good finish at the European Grand Prix.

McLaren Tell Coulthard to Raise his Game

David Coulthard has been warned he must improve his performances this season after another poor showing in qualifying ruined his chances of a good finish at the European Grand Prix.

Scot Coulthard has consistently made mistakes in the crucial one-lap runs on a Saturday afternoon and his resultant grid positions have left him unable to build on his season-opening Australian Grand Prix win.

He has been regularly outraced by teammate and Championship contender Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren's managing director Martin Whitmarsh said: "I think we would like David to get his form together.

"He is racing well, but there is generally a high standard of driving and you have got to qualify. It is all about driver confidence and how a driver qualifies is a mind game and he has got to get that fixed.

"David is a very analytical individual and sometimes that is a useful quality but it may not be useful quality when you have got to put it on the line in one lap. You have got to blank out the analysis of each corner and make sure you are fluid and instinctive in the way you do your qualifying lap. He has got to recognise that he can do it - relax and drive instinctively."

The new qualifying regulations were introduced this season and although Coulthard has never made a big mistake which has seen him start from the back of the grid he has never made the most of his one-lap opportunity.

Raikkonen has started twice from the back of the grid and once from the pitlane this season after making major mistakes in qualifying.

The pair, meanwhile, are still waiting for their new MP4-18 car to be given its race debut and Whitmarsh admitted the fact that both failed to finish in Sunday's Nurburgring race could affect their plans.

"If you feel you have a competitive car you become risk averse when it comes to introducing a new car," he said. "On the other hand if you can't get the reliability with the package you have got then that conflicts with that.

"The drivers and the team should expect that we have got a reliable package at the moment but to have this happen is obviously disappointing. I think in the aftermath of this weekend we have to consider what our options are."

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