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McLaren driver David Coulthard
answers your questions
 real 14k

Tuesday, 3 July, 2001, 15:39 GMT 16:39 UK
David Coulthard quizzed
British Formula One ace David Coulthard answers your emails
BBC Sport Online gave you the chance to quiz British Formula One driver David Coulthard.

Click here to listen to David Coulthard

The Formula One season hasn't been a smooth run for McLaren driver David Coulthard.

The Brit has claimed victories in Brazil and Austria and remains in second place in the Drivers' Championship table.

With a 31-point lead, rival Michael Schumacher is racing away but statistically Coulthard still has time to play catch up.

The McLaren driver answered your questions in BBC Sport Online's forum.

Click here to listen to David Coulthard

Jon-Paul Shooter, England

How much have the off-track distractions of the Adrian Newey saga and the on-track misfortune of Mika disrupted McLaren this year?

I don't think you can say that's got any bearing on the fact that we've had reliability problems, and issues with electronics and things like that. I think it's just unfortunate that those are part and parcel of the season, and they've caught us out.

Mario Capozzoli, Isleworth, England

Do you think the current technology in Formula One, although good from a technical point of view for the sport, is taking away some of the enjoyment as a driver and ultimately making the sport a bit of a bore?

No, I don't think the spectators have noticed a difference, and I don't think the racing is any better or worse than it was before. As a driver it's a different challenge, so it keeps it interesting.

Mike, Scotland

When you eventually hang up your helmet, do you think you would retire totally, or would you fancy trying sports cars or Cart?

From a racing point of view, I don't know whether I'd want to race anything other than Formula One. I would definitely want to be involved in some capacity because I love motor sport, but at the moment I can't imagine racing anything other than Formula One.

David, Australia

What do you think of the rivalry between the Schumacher brothers? And could you see yourself with Ralf as your team mate?

I can see myself with anyone as a team mate. Having had Mika for the past few years I don't think there's anything to be afraid of with anyone else. When you think about it, it's only once or twice in year - if you're lucky, that drivers have that close a battle that it becomes an issue between them. I don't think it's any big deal.

Alex Allen, England

Would you consider moving to Williams if it were to improve you chances of winning the title?

It would only be had I been given the option of going to Williams that I would be able to answer that question. The reality is that I'd always want to drive for the most competitive team.


Is Formula One all you thought it would be? If not, how would you like it to change?

It is everything, except from the media point view - there are few quality journalists in the sport. There are a lot of people who don't apply the same level of professionalism to what they're doing as the 99.9 per cent of the drivers and team owners that they criticise.

Steve Whiteley, England

From a racing driver's point of view, which circuit do you like to race at best? And what makes it so special?

Spa, Belgium. It's largely unchanged from the good old days and it represents a range of challenges. It's a very fast, open circuit.

Findus, England

If there was one event, result or decision you would like to change regarding your career as a racing driver, what would it be?

Probably moving to McLaren in 1996, because I probably would have won the championship that year. In the short term it was a step back, but in the longer term it did turn out the way I thought it would. So in many ways it was a good move, but a year too early.

Derek, Sweden

What do you think about just before the lights change? Do you have a ritual or a mantra or is it different for each race?

It's absolute, total focus on the lights - nothing else is in my mind.

Meg Pollitt, UK

How has your investment in the Columbus Hotel changed your situation? Is it nice to be able to concentrate on something other than Formula One, or does it distract you from the business of winning races?

Basically you have to do other things your life apart from just driving a racing car. Whether it's travelling home, going to the supermarket or going out to dinner, these are all normal things. They can all be a positive or a negative distraction depending on what happens on that journey or in that venue. To me, to be involved in a project that doesn't involve any day-to-day decisions and is largely always going to be welcoming falls into the category of a positive distraction for me.

From a purely financial point of view, I still believe it today to be the wise investment that it was at the time. The markets may change, but at the moment it's moving in the right direction. It's a logical investment in that I can actually watch it and use it. When I think of Jacques' (Villeneuve's) investment in his restaurant in Montreal, that's something that personally find more difficult to understand, because he can only use it once or twice a year. I think that you need to be able to use the things you have.

David Roberts, UK

Do you think things have become too cosy at McLaren? Hakkinen, in particular, looks to be going through the motions. What are your thoughts on the possibility of Jacques Villeneuve joining you next season?

I can't speak for Mika, but I don't believe that McLaren is a cosy environment. I think it's a professional, focused environment - when you walk into it, you can't be anything other than focused on the job.

Douglas Jones, USA

Do you think circuits need to be improved to match the technology in the cars?

Possibly, but off the top of my head I wouldn't be able to say what would be the thing to do. I wonder if there's a way on encompassing what you see in motorbikes - long braking distances, and relatively wide tracks that give them a range of lines. The problem is that the circuits would need to be about three times as wide as they are now to create that scenario, and the overriding factor is probably still the aerodynamics. So I don't now how you solve that problem.

See also:

01 Jul 01 |  Formula One
Coulthard wins new McLaren deal
30 Jun 01 |  Formula One
Coulthard enjoys tricolour treat
29 Jun 01 |  Formula One
Coulthard boosted by McLaren pace
13 May 01 |  Formula One
Coulthard takes brilliant win
01 Apr 01 |  Formula One
Coulthard shines in Brazil thriller
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