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Thursday, 23 May, 2002, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Can Coulthard catch Shumi?
David Coulthard beats championship leader Michael Schumacher to win his second Monaco Grand Prix.
But will anyone catch Schumacher in the title race?
The Monaco Grand Prix proved to be a fantastic race as Coulthard and Schumacher battled it out right to the flag.
In stark contrast to the Austrian GP, Coulthard kept the German in his mirrors all the way to win his first his first GP in a year.
After beating pole-sitter Juan Pablo Montoya to the first corner, Coulthard lead for the entire race.
The turning point came at the pit stop when Coulthard got out fractionally ahead of Schumacher after the Scot had built a lead.
But was Coulthard's win down to his own driving, the performance of the car or the lack of grip for the Ferrari drivers?
This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.
Coulthard is a far better driver than he is given credit for and if McLaren hadn't pandered to the whims of Hakkinen for years I am in no doubt we would have seen this. Even Schumacher rates him. I'm equally sure had the McLaren car been better this year it would be Coulthard and not Williams in the challenging berth.
DC drove a super race, but he has never been World Champion material - I have never understood why McLaren have kept him so long. Schumacher will take the title this year, he is the best driver (hate to admit it, but it is true) and has the best car.
I don't believe Coulthard has even a glimmer! The McLaren is just not competitive and DC is not really world championship class. The Williams-BMW's are much more of a threat because the car is better. However, Montoya is too green and too headstrong at this stage to win regularly.
Schumacher Senior is still a better driver than Ralf. It will take a run of extraordinarily bad fortune to rob Michael of his fifth record-equalling title in 2002.
I don't find Schumacher victories "boring" in the least! On the contrary, the repeated evidence that, ceteris paribus, 'class counts' is extremely refreshing!
Despite DC's superb drive, it would be absurd to conclude that he is catching Schumacher. No-one can get close to him over a season. Of course there are one or two tracks where Ferrari won't be quite on form. But, as in Monaco, Schumacher will still finish well in the points.
Allen Cooper, England
I love Monaco for its atmosphere but not for its racing action, which is generally terrible. As one of our commentators said, at Monaco qualifying IS the race, and last weekend's events pretty much showed that again. Coulthard did have a nearly flawless drive but I will be very surprised if he manages to win again this season.
Monaco should be removed or made a non-championship race. The championship has become so important and valuable drivers are just not willing to risk a pass.
David drove a brave and superb race and fully deserved his victory. Even the very intimidating sight of a Ferrari driven by Michael Schumacher did not break his concentration during the final nerve racking laps. This is his victory, not the car or the tyres.
A great win For DC in an underpowered car. Special thanks must go to the pit crew who made sure DC got track position.
I don't think that the McLarens have as much speed as the other two. But they have already started making their new engine, so they will be a lot better next year.
Coulthard did a great job of driving in a car that hasn't the power to match the leaders on the track and managing to not make a single mistake. The team did a great job with their pit strategy, and they managed to get the win. But unless Schumi manages to crash a car a week and not finish a race, I would still expect Ferrari and Schumi to win the championship this year - the points lead he has built is fairly insurmountable.
Let's be honest, for the first few laps DC was the pace car - they should have blue flagged him! As always, Monaco is more about F1 politics than competitive racing. All credit to the superb driving skills of all this year's drivers, but Monaco is a procession. It is simply impossible to overtake without putting yourself and your car at risk.
Interesting to see how the Brits congratulated their driver, even though they know that Monaco is a track that is impossible to pass on. Typical British - never admitting defeat even though the battle has already been lost.
The McLaren chassis is said to be one of their best since 1998,when Mika won the championship. If they could upgrade the engine for Canada, DC can, at least, make it to the podium
Nobody will catch Schumacher and if someone did it certainly wouldn't be Coulthard. Maybe Schumacher Jr will be his closest rival. Nobody's got the class to catch Michael.
One win doesn't change a season. Ron Dennis is right to say that the next race will bring them down to earth with a bump. Back to racing the Renaults!
Schumi was clearly much faster than DC, however the risk reward ratio was not there. By finishing 2nd he still gained points over his nearest rivals, whilst an accident trying to overtake DC would also have been a PR disaster for him at the current time.
A good and careful drive by David - that's about it. He is not world champion material. Give him a Ferrari and Schumi will still beat him.
Nice race, David, but the season has long been over for Mercedez. As early as today, they'd better start creating a competitive engine for next season.
Coulthard would have to gain an average of four points per race to overtake Schumacher. Schumacher is too good to let that happen.
I'm a DC fan and was full of hope at the start of the season, but it has become very apparent in the season so far that McLaren have failed to provide a competitive car. All this race proves is that given the right set of circumstances, DC could compete with the rest and beat the lot.
A good win for DC, no doubt, but don't count on him winning any more silverware for McLaren this year. Had this been any other circuit, Michael would have gone past before DC could see him in his mirrors.
Coulthard only won because of his qualifying position and brilliant start off the line. McLaren have lost their advantage, which is unfortunate for the championship, but let's hope it's not a one horse race.
It seems unlikely that DC will be able to overhaul MS this year since Mercedes are too far down on power, McLaren operate a racing policy and Ferrari a cynical 'team comes before sport' policy. The rules need to be changed to favour racing over team tactics, otherwise the problem experienced in Austria will become more common as other teams follow Ferrari's cowardly lead.
McLaren are so behind in the tables this year that Monaco was a fluke. To be honest, DC is a spent force - he's blown his chances two years in a row, and I can't see him doing much more at all this season.
David Coulthard has a huge mountain to climb if he wants to beat Michael Schumacher. It is really great to see him win this race, but this year will be the Ferrari's and Schumi Senior.
You've got to be kidding me! Whenever a British sportsman has a good event he's suddenly catapulted to the best in the world by the British media. Michael Schumacher could lend my Skoda for the rest of the season and still finish ahead of Coulthard.
Great drive from Coulthard, but if you look at the two fastest laps at Monaco they were set by the Ferraris. Their poor qualifying caused them to lose the race. Apart from Hockenheim and maybe Canadian GP is the only place where Ferrari can lose to the Williams.
Having said that Williams couldn't get them at Imola or Brazil. Apart from Germany there are no more slow speed tracks remaining. So I think we can count Coulthard out of the championship this season. Better luck next season David
Unfortunately, I very much doubt that DC can catch Schuey, if the current form of both cars continues as it started. Monaco is a great leveller. Remember 1992, when Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell were at it tooth and nail. The Williams FW14B was far superior in chassis and power to the McLaren. However, Ayrton was in front and although Nigel was all over the back of the McLaren, he could find no way past.
This race was not quite the same however. Schuey's Ferrari actually could not keep up. There may be light at the end of the tunnel for McLaren but I doubt that they will reach it until much nearer the end of the season. I'll still pay my subs to Team McLaren though. A job well done and badly needed morale boost.
Neil McLeish, GB
I am not normally a DC fan but cheered him to the end. Well done and it was good to see McLaren win again since MH's win in the US. It is just a shame we may have to wait until Hungary (another similar track) to see another McLaren victory.
There are many drivers and only one Champion - Schumi World Champion
DC is out of the championship chase because he doesn't have the car to finish the season ahead of Rubens let alone Micheal. Nevertheless, it was nice to see DC on the top podium for a change. Well done!
There is no way that Coulthard can catch Schumacher. The Ferrari 2002 car is just too strong on normal tracks, as we have already seen. Enjoy your victory, David, but I am sure that Ferrari and Schumacher will enjoy far more in the future.
The victory was breath of fresh air for McLaren and Coulthard. It was a relief to see that there was no Schumacher standing on the centre step of the podium. Michael drove a great race and had he not been delayed by traffic and Montoya he surely would have had the race in the bag. As of the next race it will be a normal procession for Schumacher and Ferrari.
Ronnie Mirza, India
Whilst Sunday was a good result for Mclaren, I'm afraid it had more to do with the slower McLaren being more suited to the circuit, than any improvement on their part. Schumi will cruise it for the rest of the season which, for the most part, will be on the more open & faster circuits.
One has to take the words of DC. He had stated that the Monaco GP suited McLaren as the car generates a lot of downforce which comes handy at Monaco. The success at Monaco can't be repeated at other circuits as the car dosen't have enough power to challenge the Ferraris or Williams
Unfortunately Ferrari look set to dominate the rest of the season but it was a great bit of light relief to see David take a well-deserved victory. It's quite sad that in May we're already telling Mercedes to get their heads down for next season, but we can but hope!
Coulthard's tactics won him the race in an inferior car. You have to applaud the man. He drove a faultless race and buried the ghost of 2001. Results like these add a little bit of interest to an increasingly boring sport. At least the race for second place is worth watching now. Congratulations David.
Monaco was a McLaren friendly one-off and I wouldn't expect DC to be able to hold off a Schumacher attack elsewhere. But it was a cracking race: full of incident and entertainment. And to those who reckon that Monaco is always the most boring race on the calendar - this one must have been the exception that proves the rule!
Chris B, England
No chance!! This season was David's last realistic chance to challange for the world title and the car (and possibly David) just isn't up to the task. The future belongs to the younger drivers and even Michael will have his hands full fending them off in future seasons.
Great start, great driving and in the end a glorious win for David. F1 as a sport won.
As Monaco relies more on driver precision and a lot less on the power of the engine I don't think this is the turning point for McLaren yet. They have a good chassis but I don't understand why McLaren aren't more actively pushing Mercedes and Ilmor for a better engine as this is the downfall of this season. Apart from that what a great race well done David.
Given McLaren's lack of horses this year, Coulthard can only win the championship if the FIA decide to dock all 60 of Schumi's championship points in punishment for his antics on the Austrian podium. Oh, and Williams' reliability would have to take a nosedive too.
Coulthard is a decent driver, but not a great one. Great drivers don't take a whole year to win a race. He has been in one of the best cars on the track for years and has never won the championship this year will be no different. Chris, UK
I agree with Krizstian from Canada if the track was more open then Michael would have over-taken him and gone off into the distance and clearly won the race.
A good win for DC. However.. fastest laps of the race to the ferraris by far. Unfortunately no place to overtake and no place for mistakes either. No-one will catch Schumi unless he has a bad accident and can't race. He and Ferrari are just too good a package.
The race only emphasizes the lack of power from the Mercedes engine. A once truly great unit now struggles to lift itself into the top three. A great shame for formula one as it could have done with a real challenge to the resurgent Ferrari.
Mercedes need to pull something out of the bag quickly if they want to anywhere close to the title this season.
It was interesting to see how Schumacher and Montoya couldn't get past Coulthard despite having superior cars. The only thing that will keep the championship open is another mistake by Schumacher that takes him out for a few races or a No 2 who won't 'gift' him title points. Neither are likely though, so normal F1 procession resumed.
Richard Philips, UK
With all due respect to DC, he only just managed to scrape it home by the seat of his pants. Had Mika Hakkinen been in the car it would have been an easy win - think about it.
Had it been on a more open track, Michael would have passed him with ease.
Well done David. I thought that was the best race of the season, a much needed victory for McLaren after a dreadful start. I hope they can maintain this sort of form in the next race. GOOD LUCK!
David did a great job. He managed to keep in first position from the first to the last lap. But I don't think McLaren will catch up to Ferrari. They are too strong this year, but I'm convinced that McLaren could beat Williams
Monaco masks McLaren's true problems. They have an underpowered and not terribly reliable car. As Monaco does not rely on speed; it's the only track where McLaren could really expect to win.
Victories are extremely unlikely to follow during the rest of the season. However, there is a glimmer of hope for David Coulthard and Mclaren again at the British Grand Prix, where they have won it three consecutive years in a row.
No, unless the drivers change teams. But what this race did was showcase the good side of F1 (much needed given two weeks ago) - the glamour, speed and spills and the fact that Michael Schumacher every so often is beatable. Great drive from David Coulthard.
A masterful drive by David Coulthard after he resisted the pressure of Montoya and Schumacher. Schumacher's Ferrari was clearly as fast, if not faster than the McLaren, but Coulthard made absolutely no mistakes.
McLaren have a good aerodynamic package but their engine still lacks power compared to the Ferrari and Williams engines. They may do well at other high downforce circuits though such as Hungary, but they won't be challenging for the World Championship this year.
Coulthard got to the first corner before Schumacher on a track that shouldn't even be on the calendar due to the lack of overtaking opportunities. How can you race if you can't pass?
It was an impressive performance by David and he didn't put a foot wrong. But McLaren don't have enough power to match Ferrari, but they will try to fight it out with Williams.
The McLaren chassis is fantastic and they deserved to win. From this race it's very clear that the car has enough downforce to perform and that Mercedes are very short on horses!
This race has effectively sealed Michael Schumacher's fifth world title. No driver leads by over 30 points after Monaco and loses it, especially not a truly great driver like Schumacher.
There is no chance of anyone catching Michael this season or maybe even for the next few seasons. The man is a machine and we simply have to wait until somebody good enough can come along to take over his reign.
You must be kidding. He only won because it is a track with few overtaking places. David's car does not have the outright pace or ability to compete for the championship
Douglas Love, UK
This is motorsport - expect the unexpected. I definitely think that Michael is steps away from claiming his fifth title. It was a great race, especially in the last few laps. Very well done to Frentzen for his great driving and holding off Rubens.
Monaco has to stay, it is the most exciting and thrilling race by a mile.The noise as the cars go through that tunnel is F1 at its best. Monaco rules!!!
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