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Last Updated: Monday, 30 May, 2005, 07:15 GMT 08:15 UK
Coulthard condemns F1 tyre rules
Kimi Raikkonen spins out of the European Grand Prix with suspension failure on the last lap
1 F Alonso (Renault)
2 N Heidfeld (Williams)
3 R Barrichello (Ferrari)
4 D Coulthard (Red Bull)
5 M Schumacher (Ferrari)
6 G Fisichella (Renault)
7 JP Montoya (McLaren)
8 J Trulli (Toyota)
David Coulthard has labelled Formula One's tyre rules as "dangerous" after the late crash which denied Kimi Raikkonen victory at the European GP.

Raikkonen's McLaren crashed out after a worn tyre caused suspension failure.

New rules this season mean drivers can be penalised if they use more than one set of tyres during each race.

"In one way the rules have been good for overtaking and entertainment, but there is no question that it is more dangerous," Coulthard told The Times.

McLaren admitted after the race that the regulations had influenced their decision not to bring Raikkonen in for new tyres.

The rules state that a "punctured or damaged tyre" may only be changed for "clear and genuine safety reasons", with governing body the FIA able to penalise drivers if it decides that is not the case.

"It is a major worry," said Red Bull driver Coulthard, who is a drivers' representative.

"The FIA position is that the drivers make the decision, but they are asking us to throw away our races by coming in to change tyres.

I don't think there's a problem with the rules
BAR's Jenson Button
"That would have happened to me. I could hardly see from the vibrations late in the race, but I couldn't afford to lose my fourth position."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis refused to criticise the rules, even though Raikkonen's demise allowed Renault's Fernando Alonso to extend his championship lead with a fourth win of the year.

Alonso had been a victim of tyre wear at the Monaco Grand Prix, which was won by Raikkonen.

"This sort of rule has to be considered in context. From our perspective the tyre wasn't unstable and was able to cope with the vibration," said Dennis.

"It would be hypocritical of us, having benefited so convincingly in Monte Carlo due to other people's tyre problems, to voice an opinion against the rules.

"That would be inappropriate. They are part of motor racing, it's part of the skills required, setting the car up and driving."

Mistakes during the race did not help Raikkonen preserve his tyres.

He drove off the track and into the dirt on one occasion, and later wore down his right front tyre by locking his brakes as he tried to lap Jacques Villeneuve's Sauber.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said: "You have to ask, does he need to be pushing that hard to flat-spot the tyres? Management is all part of the current regulations."

BAR driver Jenson Button, whose BAR team uses the same Michelin tyres as McLaren, added: "I don't think there's a problem with the rules.

"It's our job to make sure we have the right aerodynamics and downforce to look after the tyres and then hopefully you don't have any issues.

"My tyres were quite low on tread but they were still driveable. It wasn't much fun but you could drive with them.

"Raikkonen's problem was because he locked up so many times in the same place on the tyre."

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