Schumacher not writing off Coulthard

Schumacher not writing off Coulthard

Michael Schumacher may have labeled McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen as "the dangerous one" recently, but he is also wary of the Finn's teammate David Coulthard. Whatever the reasons behind Coulthard's relatively poor performance in 2003, the Ferrari ...

Michael Schumacher may have labeled McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen as "the dangerous one" recently, but he is also wary of the Finn's teammate David Coulthard. Whatever the reasons behind Coulthard's relatively poor performance in 2003, the Ferrari champion is not about to write off a challenge from the Scot this year.

David Coulthard leads Michael Schumacher.
Photo by DaimlerChrysler.
"David gets a huge amount of negative press in the UK but within the confines of the F1 paddock he is well respected," Schumacher said at the launch of the F2004 in Maranello.

"He is always quick, totally professional, hard but fair, and an excellent driver to race against. For one reason or another, he didn't have his best season last year but I believe he will be one of my main rivals this season."

The news that McLaren had signed Juan Pablo Montoya for 2005 immediately cast a long shadow over Coulthard's future with the team. Although McLaren refuses to confirm its 2005 driver line up, it's virtually certain that the Woking squad's pairing for that season will be Montoya and Raikkonen.

Obviously this puts Coulthard at a disadvantage but Schumacher believes it will only serve to make the Scot more determined. "With the driver changes which will affect David, he will be fired up through the year and determined to prove a lot of people wrong," said Michael.

"I can't afford to write him off in terms of the championship because I think he will be there fighting right to the end of the season."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , McLaren