Pit fire hampered DC in qualifying

David Coulthard managed third place on the grid for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix despite a fuel fire in his pit

Pit fire hampered DC in qualifying

The Scot snatched his second row place off Ferrari rival Rubens Barrichello in the dying seconds of the hour-long session to start behind Michael Schumacher and McLaren-Mercedes team mate Mika Hakkinen.

A fuel pipe slipped during re-fuelling in the team's garage, sending fuel gushing into Coulthard's left eye and sparking a small fire as he sat strapped in the car.

"It could have been bloody dangerous," said Coulthard, who had to bathe his eyes quickly in medicinal drops before charging out on the run that collared a place ahead of the second Ferrari.

"It was a horrible incident," he said. "The fuel line came off and I got covered in petrol. There was a bit of a panic because there was a small fire. If my mechanics had not reacted quickly there could have been a massive incident.

"This highlights the dangers the mechanics face. I am largely protected by overalls but they are in shorts and t-shirts. Those guys are taking big risks doing the jobs they do."

Coulthard is hoping to stave off the challenge from Barrichello, who starts fourth, for his third place in the drivers' championship. He has a nine point advantage so Barrichello needs to win without the Scot finishing in the points to leap above him in the driver standings.
Pit fire hampered DC in qualifying

Fire caused by fuel leak in McLaren garage

David Coulthard managed third place on the grid for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix despite a fuel fire in his pit.

The Scot snatched his second row place off Ferrari rival Rubens Barrichello in the dying seconds of the hour-long session to start behind Michael Schumacher and McLaren-Mercedes team mate Mika Hakkinen.

A fuel pipe slipped during re-fuelling in the team's garage, sending fuel gushing into Coulthard's left eye and sparking a small fire as he sat strapped in the car.

"It could have been bloody dangerous," said Coulthard, who had to bathe his eyes quickly in medicinal drops before charging out on the run that collared a place ahead of the second Ferrari.

"It was a horrible incident," he said. "The fuel line came off and I got covered in petrol. There was a bit of a panic because there was a small fire. If my mechanics had not reacted quickly there could have been a massive incident.

"This highlights the dangers the mechanics face. I am largely protected by overalls but they are in shorts and t-shirts. Those guys are taking big risks doing the jobs they do."

Coulthard is hoping to stave off the challenge from Barrichello, who starts fourth, for his third place in the drivers' championship. He has a nine point advantage so Barrichello needs to win without the Scot finishing in the points to leap above him in the driver standings.

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