New format, same outlook for Coulthard

New format, same outlook for Coulthard

Despite all the changes to Formula One this year, David Coulthard still has the same outlook and that is to drive as fast as possible. The McLaren stalwart thinks the new qualifying system will be interesting but really it's not so different from...

Despite all the changes to Formula One this year, David Coulthard still has the same outlook and that is to drive as fast as possible. The McLaren stalwart thinks the new qualifying system will be interesting but really it's not so different from before.

David Coulthard.
Photo by Dave Dyer.
"The format change is significant," he said in a television discussion aired today. "But for drivers it's the same thing -- to go out and drive quickly. I don't go out and think 'this is my first run, then I have a second, a third'. You've always got to think a qualifying run is the one chance, the next one might not be so good. So in that way the new system hasn't changed my outlook."

As for the safety concerns about teams only being permitted limited work on cars between qualifying and practice, the Scot thinks there are certain problems: "We've seen in the past a car that's been well prepared and put to bed for the night," he explained. "Then you come in the next morning and there's been a leak or something. Those problems are not going to go away. It's hard to explain how these things happen, but they do."

Coulthard thinks fans will be confused by trying to figure out what strategies are being run by teams now that refueling between qualifying and race has been banned. He thinks it was better when there was no refueling allowed at all because then there was not strategy to worry about.

"Racing was better with no refueling because you were all on the same strategy. It's too confusing for fans to try and figure out strategy with refueling -- good racing is what happens on the track, not what happens on the pit wall."

The new McLaren is not expected to make an appearance until perhaps Imola, the fourth round, and Coulthard said the time will now be spent taking the new rules into consideration: "Initially the decision (not to start the season with the new car) was to spend time catching up with Ferrari but now it will be to see how we can deal with the new rules and not working on the car after qualifying."

When Eddie Irvine announced his retirement from F1 earlier this year, some paddock people said the sport would miss him. Coulthard was of a different opinion -- asked if he would miss the Irishman, the Scot replied: "Like a hole in the head!" So no Christmas cards exchanged between the two then? Laughing, DC concluded: "I wouldn't waste the money on a stamp."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , David Coulthard
Teams Ferrari , McLaren