West McLaren Mercedes driver David Coulthard finished today's Belgian Grand Prix in second place whilst team mate Mika Hakkinen claimed fourth. At the first attempt, the start was aborted when a car stalled on the grid. At the restart Mika and...
West McLaren Mercedes driver David Coulthard finished today's Belgian Grand Prix in second place whilst team mate Mika Hakkinen claimed fourth. At the first attempt, the start was aborted when a car stalled on the grid. At the restart Mika and David made their way to fifth and sixth but the race was stopped after five laps following a heavy accident. The race was restarted at 14.45 over 36 laps. Today's result means that David and West McLaren Mercedes remain second in the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships.
'I'm pleased with today's result particularly considering my start position. Fortunately Spa is one of the tracks where you can overtake. The guys in the team gave me a reliable car, which is what is important. I was surprised by the speed of Fisichella and unfortunately he was quick in all the right places i.e. La Source and Stavelot, so it was very difficult to overtake. I knew my best chance would be in the pitstop but just before coming in I caught up with a backmarker and lost some time. I knew we had to be quick, but we just weren't quick enough and I was unable to pass him when I rejoined. Fischella's car was losing a lot of oil so both my car and helmet were covered. I soon ran out of visor tear-offs and had to wipe the visor on the straights which was a bit of a distraction. We caught up with a backmarker at La Source on lap 27, which upset Fisichella's rhythm and I was able to get past him at Eau Rouge. I'm pleased that I have extended the points gap to Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher and consolidated second place in the Championship.'
'This was a dramatic race. My second start was reasonably good off the line, and I could get up to third place on the first lap. However then I lost two positions to David and Rubens before I came in for my first stop. I had a good battle with Rubens afterwards until he had to replace his damaged nose, which was not a result of contact between the two of us. Unfortunately I couldn't charge the last part of the race to make inroads on Fisichella because of a handling imbalance, so I had to settle for fourth.'
'As a result of Fisichella's early pace we were unable to contest the lead. However in the circumstances our second and fourth places at least achieve the consolidation in our Championship positions, but as always we are here to win so that will be our focus between now and Monza. All of the team wishes Luciano a speedy recovery.'
'A good result under the circumstances and with the grid positions we had to start from. The technical package ran reliably and our strategy was good - well done by the whole team. Anyway the best information we received after the race was that Luciano Burti's accident did not have life threatening consequences.'
Spare (Coulthard): MP4/16-04