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  Monday, 16 July, 2001, 03:39 GMT 04:39 UK
Buoyant Hakkinen backs Coulthard
Copse corner
The cars battle for supremacy at Copse
By BBC Sport Online's Andrew Benson at Silverstone.

British Grand Prix winner Mika Hakkinen has urged David Coulthard not to give up on his world title dream this year even though it looks hopeless.

Coulthard lost further ground to world championship leader Michael Schumacher after spinning out on the first corner at Silverstone on Sunday.

And he is now 37 points adrift of the German with only 60 available in the rest of the season.

"I feel very, very sorry for David after what happened at the first corner," Hakkinen said.

"But I know from my own experiences that David still has a chance to win the title. If there are as many as six races to go, you should never give up."


I tried to get out of the way, but I had nowhere to go
Jarno Trulli

Coulthard has also vowed not to give up - and he will have been buoyed by the pace shown by his revitalised team-mate.

But Jordan driver Jarno Trulli has rejected David Coulthard's claims that he was to blame for the first-corner incident that took them both out.

Trulli and Coulthard collided as they went through Copse corner battling for third position.

TV pictures showed that the two were side-by-side as they turned into the corner, but that Coulthard was slightly ahead when they collided.

Jarno Trulli
Trulli claims there was nothing he could do

Trulli's left-front wheel hit Coulthard's right rear, damaging the suspension of both cars.

Trulli said: "I saw he was closing the door, and I tried to get out of the way, but I had nowhere to go.

"This is a corner where you don't brake, and it is wide enough for two cars to go around together and avoid an accident, so I don't understand why he closed the door so violently.

"It was a racing incident and David and I will talk about it, but generally I think the car on the outside should leave enough room to move for the inside car."


I know we will have different opinions on it, but I was slightly ahead so I felt I had the line for the corner
David Coulthard

Coulthard replied: "I'm sure Jarno is very fired up about it, but I turned in and had track position. Two into one doesn't go and he hit me on the right rear suspension.

"I know we will have different opinions on it, but I was slightly ahead so I felt I had the line for the corner.

"Jarno being on the inside felt he could take that position. Ultimately we came together and it damaged the car.

"It's just one of those racing incidents which is unfortunate. "You get a close call and sometimes drivers come together."

Schumacher focused

Coulthard's only hope for success now is for Hakkinen to be able to help him out - by handing him race positions if necessary and also by pushing Schumacher down a place whenever possible.

However, so big is Schumacher's lead that Coulthard has to hope that the German retires in more than one of the remaining races to have any chance.

If Coulthard was to win all the remaining races, with Schumacher third, Coulthard would still be one point adrift of the German.

Nevertheless, Schumacher is also not allowing himself to think it is all over.

He said: "Obviously it has worked in my favour, but there are 60 points available still.

"I have 37 points in my pocket with six races to go. It's nice to know, but it's not over.

"And either way I want to keep winning races. The championship is one thing and race-by-race is another."

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