BBC Sport formula1


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Monday, 29 March 2010 15:01 UK

David Coulthard Q&A

The BBC Formula 1 team will be answering your questions in a new series for the website this year.

This week, pundit David Coulthard is the one called in for questioning. Thank you for all your e-mails, a selection of which the former grand prix driver answers below.

David Coulthard
By David Coulthard
BBC Sport in Melbourne

After the Bahrain Grand Prix, there was an immediate backlash from almost all quarters, bemoaning that the new rules and teams had resulted in a boring race. Do you think it's too soon to judge?
James Anthony, UK

The public reaction was correct - it wasn't a particularly exciting grand prix. But do we know that's going to be the form for the season? Of course not; we don't know what the future holds.

There will be some races which will be exciting and some which will be straightforward processions with the fastest guy at the front. But Formula 1 will always offer a level of technical challenge and if you can dovetail that with good racing, that's what the fans want to see.

If you could change one aspect of an F1 car to make overtaking easier - what would it be?
Brendan, Ireland

Aerodynamic efficiency is what upsets overtaking. The cars are so finely tuned that if you put them in dirty air it's like an aeroplane in turbulence - you need to create an aero package which still performs at a high level when it's in dirty air.

We need a rethink on how the aero works. There has to be a way. It's an engineering exercise, which is what F1 excels in.

Do you think, realistically, that Michael Schumacher will be able to win a few GPs and challenge for this year's championship in his Mercedes?
Anita Sundaresan, USA

He won't be able to challenge for the championship this year based on current gap between Red Bull and Mercedes, but can he win races? If they develop the car - he's the biggest winner in history.

Michael Schumacher (left) and David Coulthard (right)
Schumacher (left) and Coulthard were racing rivals for many years

He'll be less frustrated than people imagine because he's come in as an adult and realises it's about the technical challenge and development. Just because he's won in the past doesn't mean he'll win in the future.

He won't get frustrated this year but taking the longer-term view, it could lose appeal quite quickly if he can't win or get on the podium.

What do you think of the current points system? And if you could, would you change it?
Jamie Dwyer, UK

From a historical point of view, it's a shame to change the points system as it makes it harder to do comparisons between eras, and statistically there's only two or three championships which would have been different, so that would suggest there's a very small argument for increasing points for victory and having them go further down the grid.

I think one of the reasons was so that smaller teams can justify to sponsors that they're scoring points, but does anyone care who finishes fourth in the Olympics? If you're not on the podium, you're not on the podium.

Who, in your mind, is the most complete driver on the grid?
Timi, UK

I started the year with the thought it was Fernando Alonso but I'm very quickly seeing Sebastian Vettel match him in that area.

How likely do you think it is that Kimi Raikkonen will replace Mark Webber at Red Bull next year?
Chris, UK

Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso
Vettel and Alonso - the two most complete drivers in F1, says DC

I think it's unlikely - I don't see any valid argument based on Mark Webber's performance and his position in the team to suggest that Kimi would do a better job, and be as good a team player.

You've got to be in harmony, and the working relationship between Sebastian Vettel and Mark is very good.

Drivers often say what is their favourite track, but not what is their least favourite. What are your best and worst F1 tracks?
Stephen Barnett, Tyne and Wear

My favourite is Spa, because of the natural feel of the track - it's open, fast and it goes up and down hill. The most challenging is Monaco as there's no room for error on street circuits.

My least favourite (long pause for thought) - the modern tracks are not as enjoyable because they're designed with modern safety standards in mind, and that takes away the feeling you have in the car.

Out of your 13 grand prix wins which one was the best?
Bradley, England

Monaco 2002 - I was just at one with the car and in a really good zone.

How much stick did you get for driving into that pit wall when you were leading in Adelaide in '95?
Paul Hesketh, UK

I got a lot of stick, but I was a passenger at the point when I did the downshift. There was a technical issue as to why it accelerated as I tried to decelerate, it blipped the engine and accelerated. It was always going to happen because of the sequence of events - ultimately I get the stick as I was behind the wheel, but I was assisted.

There are a quite few father and son combinations who have raced F1 and now an uncle and nephew combo (Senna). This clearly isn't a coincidence. How much is this is down to genetics and how much having the right contacts?
Tim Fry, Wales

There must be a genetic link as some people have good balance - we can't all be circus performers, for example - but I think the genetic link is probably stronger in things like athletics. Contacts are very important in this sport - I'd put my son Dayton in a go-kart as I think it's a great life experience to learn how to drive and control a car. I'd definitely encourage it.

After the recent DTM test you had (which I had previous knowledge of, having bumped into you in John Lewis Chelsea over Christmas!) any further developments? Are we going to see the famous Saltire helmet in competition again soon?

Mathew Betteridge, England

Question one - watch this space! Question two - I've had the same design since 1982 so there's no reason to change it now.

David Coulthard won 13 Grands Prix in a 14-year racing raceer before retiring in 2008 and is now a BBC F1 pundit. He was talking to Sarah Holt.

Print Sponsor

see also
Button wins dramatic Australia GP
28 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Australian GP as it happened
28 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Australian Grand Prix photos
28 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso triumphs as Vettel fades
14 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Eddie Jordan Q&A
12 Mar 10 |  Formula 1

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.