Villeneuve Blames Coulthard for Lost Point

Jacques Villeneuve has vowed to have words with rival David Coulthard after a late race collision robbed the Canadian of his first points of the season in the Bahrain Grand Prix

Villeneuve Blames Coulthard for Lost Point

The Sauber driver had been closing in on the struggling Rubens Barrichello for eighth place when, with just three laps to go, he was hit from behind by Coulthard and ran off the track. Feeling there was something wrong with the rear of his car he dived into the pits where he was forced to retire with a broken rear suspension.

Villeneuve, who finally feels that he is getting on top of the Sauber C24, said: "It's a real shame. The start went well, Turn One went well, and the car went well. I got pushed wide and had to give back a place on the first lap, but after that it was a matter of keeping the pace and being consistent.

"I could certainly have got a point today. It was only another lap and I would have passed Rubens, but then I got hit by David. I don't know why and I'll have to ask him.

"After that incident I could feel something wrong at the back of the car so I came into the pits so the team could check it out. They subsequently discovered that there was damage to the rear suspension where David had hit me.

"It's disappointing to get so close to a point and then lose it, but I'm feeling a lot more confident in the car after this race."

But it was not a completely sad day for Sauber, who celebrated their 200th Grand Prix with Felipe Massa taking the team's first points of the year after finishing seventh.

"That was exactly what I hoped for in my heart before the start of the race," said the Brazilian. "The C24 was strong and consistent all the way through and I am sure that my hard tyre choice was the right one.

"I think it was a good move I did on Rubens, but he was in trouble with his tyres so to be fair it was not real overtaking.

"I am proud to have scored our first points of the season in our 200th race, and now I'm looking forward to continuing our intensive preparations next week before the championship moves to Europe for the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola."

Team boss Peter Sauber added: "This was a very tough race, and both drivers did a very good job. Jacques was unlucky to lose the final point when Coulthard ran into him in the closing stages, but Felipe's two points for seventh place were a great present, a thank you to the team as everyone here in Bahrain and back home in Hinwil celebrates our 200th race.

"It is a satisfying way to finish the opening stint of the season, and sets us up for our forthcoming test session in Barcelona later this week which will help us to prepare for the European races."

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