Japanese GP: Red Bull race notes

Starting from sixth on the grid, David Coulthard capitalised on his qualifying effort and made an excellent start by diving through the field to make up two places. Christian also held on well and, after the first corner, the Red Bull Racing duo...

Starting from sixth on the grid, David Coulthard capitalised on his qualifying effort and made an excellent start by diving through the field to make up two places.

Christian also held on well and, after the first corner, the Red Bull Racing duo lay in fourth and fifth place respectively. When pole position driver Ralf Schumacher made his first pit- stop, David moved up to third, before briefly leading a Grand Prix for the second time this season.

While the front- runners played leapfrog though their differing pit-stop strategies, Championship leaders Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, who had started 16th and 17th, charged up though the field.

After a nail-biting finale as the race went right to the wire, David finished sixth to claim three Championship points, while his team-mate Christian crossed the line in ninth.

David Coulthard:

"From the team's point of view, we've got to be satisfied, as there are some strong teams out there. I had a good battle with Jenson (Button) in Turn one and our pace was good at the start. It was only after the fuel stop I began to struggle. We have to put quite a lot of fuel in our car, which can upset the balance."

"However, as more fuel gets burnt off, it improves. It's happened quite often this year - we put fuel in the car and lose some performance in the middle stint of the race compared to the others. We were competitive with Williams all weekend, and they finished fourth, so, while we'll gratefully take the points, I was hoping for more."

Christian Klien:

"I had a good start, although the car felt a bit sluggish off the grid; I'm not sure what caused that. I was fighting hard with Sato in Turn one; he tried to overtake me, but I defended my place, although the first ten laps were difficult. The car felt heavy and my hard tyres made it tricky on the green track, meaning I lost some time."

"The Renaults and McLarens were in a different league to us and there was just no chance to defend from them. The car improved as the race went on and I began to set faster lap times, but by then it was too late. I'm not so happy, I must say. From fourth on the grid you expect a lot more, not really to finish in ninth position."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director:

"To start sixth and finish sixth is a solid result, but the potential was there to beat BAR and Williams today. David led the race briefly prior to his first stop, but unfortunately the car wasn't quick enough after it was re-fuelled and he sacrificed some time. We made up ground later on when David completed an excellent sequence of laps and went past Schumacher through his final pit-stop."

"Unfortunately, Christian lost too much time in the first part of the race. He picked up the pace in the second but, by then, he'd given up bit too much ground to the cars ahead and it was another frustrating ninth place finish for him."

Michael Janes - Cosworth F1 Race Engineering:

"All Cosworth TJ engines performed faultlessly throughout the Suzuka GP weekend, the second event for both race engines. We are obviously very pleased to have assisted David in his hard-earned points finish and look forward to repeating the same next weekend in Shanghai."

DAVID COULTHARD
Finish Position: 6th
Time: 1:29:33.813
Chassis No.: 3
Engine: TJ033
Start Position: 6th

CHRISTIAN KLIEN
Finish Position: 9th
Time: 1:29:54.137
Chassis No.: 1
Engine: TJ025
Start Position: 4

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , David Coulthard , Fernando Alonso , Christian Klien
Teams McLaren , Williams