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Coulthard doubts new rules

David Coulthard has cast open doubts about some of the new rules due to be introduced in Formula 1 this year - claiming that he believes Sunday qualifying will be scrapped and that the single tyre regulation may prove unpopular

Coulthard doubts new rules

Speaking as the main star at the Autosport International show on Saturday, Coulthard was asked what he thought of some of this year's rule changes, and first expressed his misgivings about the new qualifying format.

"After 10 years in the sport, I know that there are things that are put in as new regulations and things do change, so it is not clear that the regulations will remain," he said.

"If you follow what the television companies say then they don't what to have the two qualifying sessions split. I think there may be changes before Melbourne."

Regarding the new tyre rules, which will force drivers to use the same set of rubber for both qualifying and the entire race distance, Coulthard expressed some doubts about the realities of drivers being forced to finish races with far from perfect rubber.

"There are some things to say about safety issues," he said. "When you get a flat-spot on a tyre, whereas in the past you could come in early for a pit-stop, now you will get a penalty which may force a driver to stay out there and try to live with it.

"Only if you have driven a grand prix car at 200mph with a flat-spot do you know what it is like - your vision is blurred and the car is difficult to control. You can argue that if it is dangerous you should stop, but your competitive side comes out - like on the rugby field when people take some really bruising tackles and play on because their focus is absolute.

"There are some real arguments to say that it could be more difficult, but let's wait and see. I have raced in formulas where you have one set of tyres and you just have to manage in a different way.

"Last year there were races where the tyre wear was fine to do a whole GP distance so it is not quite the technical challenge some might think - but of course lap time wise we will not be as quick over a whole grand prix distance with one set of tyres."

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