Formula One needs public support says Coulthard

Formula One needs public support says Coulthard

The reaction of the crowd at the Austrian Grand Prix was a pretty good indication of what the public felt about Ferrari's decision to call team orders into play. After Rubens Barrichello let Michael Schumacher take the win, the German was booed...

The reaction of the crowd at the Austrian Grand Prix was a pretty good indication of what the public felt about Ferrari's decision to call team orders into play. After Rubens Barrichello let Michael Schumacher take the win, the German was booed and jeered when he arrived on parc ferme and also on the podium. McLaren's David Coulthard thinks the situation was not bad for the sport but the public reaction should not be ignored.

David Coulthard.
Photo by DaimlerChrysler.
"I don't think what happened makes a mockery of the sport because that is its contractual business," said the Scot, who faced team orders in 1998 when he was told to move over for Mika Hakkinen in Australia. "The fundamental question though is 'is this good for the sport'? Clearly by the crowd's reaction they made their opinion on that quite strongly."

"We are a public sport and without the support of the public then the sport will suddenly start going downhill. You have got to take more pleasure out of winning a race straight. I have not had the success Michael (Schumacher) has had, but the wins I have had to work for have been the most pleasurable. That's what we are here for. We want to have the battle, the struggle. We don't just want to turn up and someone give you the ten points. After a while it would just be boring."

Coulthard thinks Barrichello is merely honouring his contract but perhaps driver contracts should be public knowledge as it's only fair to those that bet on the sport: "I didn't get out and say I wasn't happy,' he recalled about Melbourne in 1998. "I got out and explained what had happened. Of course I wasn't happy, but that is the contract I had. Rubens is a grown man who signs a contract that obviously puts him in that situation and you can't argue with that. Maybe the teams should have to declare their contracts to the public because I know people bet on Formula One."

Coulthard went on to say nothing has changed in F1 except it has a much higher profile. "But the public has to understand the politics of the sport; there is a range of issues, but they have been there since Fangio's day. Then someone would stop and get out of the car, and give Fangio his car to go and race. Nothing has fundamentally changed, but F1 has such a higher profile now."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen
Teams Ferrari , McLaren