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  Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Coulthard 'faces tough 2003'
David Coulthard chats to Niki Lauda
Coulthard may struggle in 2003, says Lauda
David Coulthard faces a difficult time in 2003 and will be under severe pressure from his McLaren team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

That is the view of triple world champion Niki Lauda, who believes that the Finn will only get better after an impressive first season at McLaren.

Raikkonen was in only his second season of Formula One in 2002, having joined McLaren from Sauber.

Yet he outqualified the more experienced Coulthard 10 times in 17 races.


For Coulthard this will be a painful experience
Niki Lauda

The two were more evenly matched in the races, but Lauda believes that this may change next season - in Raikkonen's favour.

Lauda, now boss of the Jaguar team, described Raikkonen as "the biggest surprise" of the season.

The 53-year-old Austrian said: "He seemed to come out of nowhere and proved immediately he could put in a perfect performance.

"In that respect, David Coulthard is under pressure. Having a new young driver come into the team alongside you is the worst thing that can happen," he told the Guardian.

"I know about that first hand, from when Alain Prost came in alongside me in 1984 at McLaren.

"When I'd won my first world championship in 1975 Alain wasn't even old enough to have a driving licence.

Kimi Raikkonen on the podium after the Japanese Grand Prix
Raikkonen finished the season with a third place in Japan
"When this happens, it demotivates you. Every race you have to psych yourself up to blow your new team-mate off in qualifying and the race.

"In races, Coulthard has the advantage of experience - as I did over Prost - but in qualifying Raikkonen has put him under a lot of pressure.

"This will get worse, because Raikkonen is at the beginning of his career.

"For Coulthard this will be a painful experience, and he will have to push himself to the limit next season."

See also:

11 Oct 02 | Formula One
03 Oct 02 | Formula One
22 Aug 02 | Formula One
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