David Coulthard has revealed that – despite having slipped some 17 points adrift in the battle over the hotly-fought and highly-coveted fourth position in the 2008 Formula 1 Constructors' World Championship in recent races – Red Bull Racing is still firmly set on ending the season as 'best-of-the-rest' behind the sport's top three teams.
The Milton Keynes-based concern has dropped off the back of its rivals of late as the Renault engine in its RB4 has struggled to keep pace with its nearest competitors, to such an extent that – arriving at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend – neither Mark Webber nor David Coulthard have now troubled the points-scorers since the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours some five races ago.
That is in stark contrast to Toyota and the Renault works outfit – who respectively have notched up 18 and 19 points over the interceding four grands prix – seeing RBR drop from fourth place down to sixth in the standings, with seemingly little realistic hope of regaining its former position. Not so, maintains Coulthard, who triumphed in the Belgian Grand Prix for McLaren-Mercedes nine years ago.
“[Fourth] was the target we set at the beginning of the year,” the 37-year-old Scot – set to retire at the end of the present campaign – wrote in his latest column for ITV-F1
, “and just because things have gone badly over the past few races, I don't believe we should lower our sights.
“I think there's a lot of potential for large points' swings over the remaining races. In Singapore we've got another street track where none of us know quite what to expect, and the weather can play a big role in Japan, China and Brazil – so it's definitely still to play for in my view.
“I don't think anyone expected the balance of power among the midfield teams to fluctuate as much as it has, so it's difficult to predict what will happen over the last six races, but it is guaranteed to be very close.”