McLaren's David Coulthard answers questions on the team, racing and some of his favourite things. It's not been the easiest of seasons for West McLaren Mercedes - how important were the win in Monaco and the second place in Canada to you, and to...
McLaren's David Coulthard answers questions on the team, racing and some of his favourite things.
It's not been the easiest of seasons for West McLaren Mercedes - how important were the win in Monaco and the second place in Canada to you, and to the team?
I think Monaco was particularly important - in fact it was probably the most important victory I've had since I joined the team. People get used to a certain level of success from a team and when it's not there they sometimes don't understand why. Races like Monaco remind everybody that we are winners and that's very important. We still know how to win and we can take opportunities when they arise.
Would you say Canada was a slightly lucky result?
We obviously benefited from Montoya's engine problem but the fact of the matter is we were quick enough to be in a position to benefit from his problem. Problems are part of racing, be they mechanical failures, safety cars coming out onto the track, getting stuck in traffic, whatever. That's the race - you just have to get on with it and it's how you handle the problems that counts.
Ron Dennis and Norbert Haug have both admitted that they haven't given you the tools to get the job done this season. How frustrating is that for you - and does it make it any better that the bosses say it's not your fault?
All it does is remove pressure from the media because if the team say "it's our problem rather than the drivers" the press don't ask the drivers questions about it. That's another reason the Monaco victory was important. The media inevitably start asking questions about your ability when you aren't getting the results and that race proved I still know how to win.
Do you think West McLaren Mercedes can rally round and become serious contenders for regular wins in the second part of the season?
To be totally honest I think it's a bit unlikely. We are not in a position at the moment to be seriously challenging Ferrari and its very difficult to transform your performances overnight in this business. We really need to be looking forward to next year in that respect. That doesn't mean that something might not come along this season though. There are always opportunities to win races and I hope some will arise. I would expect us to make a few more visits to the podium for sure.
What about the future? You've been with McLaren for such a long time now - can you imagine ever driving for another team?
You never know what the future holds but I'm contracted to McLaren for the foreseeable future and I see no reason to change. We have all the ingredients here; we're a well funded, well organised team with a proven history of winning - so why move?
And now for the trivia - where and when were you born?
Twynholm in Scotland on 27th March 1971.
Do you have any nicknames?
I had DC on the back of my helmets when I was a kid and my father used to have a belt with DC on it which he wore to the races so I guess that's my oldest and best known nickname.
Do you have any pets?
Yes two; a West Highland Terrier called Mona and a Maltese Terrier called Lear Jet who belongs to my girlfriend, Simone. She's had her since she was a pup and apparently she used to run around everywhere really fast which is how she got the name.
What was your first road car?
A Mercedes van which we drove my karts to the races in. Then I got a Renault 5 Turbo.
What's your ideal road car?
A comfortable 4-door automatic with a big boot, leather interior and a good sound system.
What qualifications did you get at school?
8 'O' levels and 1 higher - I don't know what that translates to in the English system.
What was your favourite subject?
I didn't have a particular favourite - I liked the whole range. I found some subjects more difficult than others and RE used to bore me a bit but I really enjoyed myself at school.
Favourite band or singer?
I'm not really an obsessive person. My likes and dislikes change depending on my mood so I can't say I have one specific favourite; it all depends on what I'm doing. I watch a lot of MTV and I've got Pink's latest CD in the car at the moment but would I take that to a desert island with me? Probably not.
What's your favourite film?
The film I remember that moved me the most was Schindler's List. When the lights came up in the cinema at the end of the film nobody moved. I like all sorts of stuff though - action films, comedies whatever. I'm not averse to the occasional 'chick flick' either!
What's your ideal way to spend a day off?
A bit of exercise in the morning (to get it out of the way) then a nice lunch with friends on my boat. After that I'd go for a bit of a play - a quick bob around in the water - and then a few cocktails in the evening before going out for dinner.
What's your favourite holiday destination?
Name three ideal dinner companions (excluding family and friends).
Billy Connelly, Mel Gibson and The Queen. Having watched a few 'behind the scenes' programmes lately she seems like an interesting lady. There's a few questions I'd like to ask her.
If you had to choose one driver to be your team-mate from any era of the sport who would it be?
I think I'd have to take a few from different eras. Fangio, Jackie Stewart, Prost, Senna, and Nigel Mansell.