David Coulthard insisted he was not wanting to point any fingers of blame after a bungled second pit-stop in the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix at the weekend cost him a likely fourth place.
Though he still went on to take the chequered flag seventh – fending off the aggressive late-race attentions of Williams' Kazuki Nakajima to secure only the second points-scoring finish of his valedictory campaign in Formula 1, more than three months on from his Canadian Grand Prix podium – Coulthard was aware that it could have been so much more.
After running in the 'Trulli Train' in company with Red Bull Racing team-mate Mark Webber early on, the 37-year-old Scot similarly benefited from the Milton Keynes-based concern's excellent reading of the safety car situation following Nelsinho Piquet's crash on lap 13.
By astutely bringing both cars in to re-fuel before the safety car was released on-track, Webber and Coulthard lay in net third and fourth positions approaching the race's halfway point, and after the Australian was forced out of contention with gearbox woes on lap 30, the sister RB4 moved into a podium position.
Coulthard went on to draw upon all of his experience and guile to fend off the McLaren-Mercedes of F1 World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton – who described the 13-time grand prix-winner as having been 'a good second slower than everyone in front of us', even if he acknowledged that his fellow Brit had driven 'a fantastic race' – until the Stevenage ace finally found a way past when eventual race-winner Fernando Alonso rejoined from his second pit-stop right ahead of the RBR.
Still looking good to take fourth place, the man believed to have been signed up to help front BBC's
coverage of the sport next year [see separate story – click here
] lost precious seconds when he was prematurely released during his own second pit visit, and a subsequent braking issue saw him slip back to seventh spot at the chequered flag.
“That was my second points finish this year,” Coulthard reflected afterwards, “so I've got to be happy with the result. As far as the second pit-stop went, the guys have been great this year and the work that they did on Saturday morning to get my car out so I could do a run was quite remarkable, so I'm not going to point any fingers at them. It's just one of those things.
“There was a misunderstanding between some of the guys and I go when the lollipop comes up, but these things happen. Thankfully we got some points. It was incredibly bumpy out there – you can't see the braking down into turn seven – and it was as hot as hell.”
“I lost seventh and then fifth gear,” explained a naturally disappointed Webber, “which cost us a fantastic result, as I was stopping for my second pit-stop later than Fernando. It would have been nice to share the podium with him, with him winning and me second.