We need to up our game, says DC

David Coulthard says McLaren-Mercedes must raise its game if he is to remain in the hunt for his first world title and overcome the 31-point deficit to Ferrari ace Michael Schumacher

We need to up our game, says DC

The Scot battled back to fourth in Sunday's French Grand Prix after a pitlane speeding infringement cost him a stop-go penalty. But despite acknowledging that he lost himself potential points in Magny-Cours, Coulthard believes the whole organisation must take a step forward.

"You either win or you lose," he said. "You either do a job which is capable and deserving of it, or you don't. At the moment we're not, so we need to improve.

"I'm not someone who keeps looking at previous year," he added. "I just try to get the best out of each weekend. The easiest way to win is to have the best car and to be performing.

"Unfortunately, when that was the situation here, Mika (Hakkinen) had a natural momentum that I found difficult to deal with, and that affected the way I was driving the car. If we were in that situation now I believe the performance I would achieve would be better.

"But it doesn't really matter what I think. That was then and this is now, and we can only do what we can do. If nothing else, as long as I know I'm giving 100 percent, I'll take the positive out of it."

McLaren has suffered a spate of raceday reliability problems this season - including another non-start for Hakkinen at Magny-Cours on Sunday - and has also been out-gunned in qualifying in recent races by Ferrari and an increasingly potent Williams-BMW challenge.

At the Nurburgring a week ago, DaimlerChrysler board member Jurgen Hubbert also called for McLaren-Mercedes to up its game - and didn't leave the drivers off the areas for improvement list.

"Everything apart from the colours and tyres needs to be improved - car, engine, aerodynamics, team, organisation and drivers," he said. "I have spoken to the team for six or seven hours over the weekend, and I hope they've now understood."

Seven races and a maximum 70 points are still up for grabs in the chase for the title. But Coulthard faces an increasingly uphill battle: should the McLaren man win each of the remaining races, Schumacher need only finish second in every one to guarantee his fourth crown.

For full David Coulthard Q&A, click here.

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