F1 »

Coulthard gets a grip in France.


David Coulthard returned the world championship to its previous 12-point status quo after a thrilling drive to victory at Magny-Cours.

The start, however, did not hold much promise for the Scot for, as Michael Schumacher made his now customary swerve across the road, the McLaren also found itself passed by Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari, and just held on to fourth spot from team-mate Mika Hakkinen.

Barrichello's role was clear from the off, holding Coulthard and Hakkinen at bay as Schumacher made good his escape at the front. Three laps in and the German had almost as many seconds to his advantage, as his Brazilian team-mate thwarted Coulthard's every attempt to get past.

The battle raged until lap 17, when Coulthard found enough momentum to pull alongside the Ferrari on the outside heading into the Adelaide chicane, before powering out on the tighter line at the exit. Barrichello was powerless to resist, and later admitted that his car was already in handling difficulties as its tyres went off on the smooth surface. Hakkinen, at this point, was not close enough to challenge the Brazilian, but grew inexorably closer as the first round of pit-stops approached.

Despite the possibilities and rumour surrounding race strategy, almost everyone of note opted for two stops to combat the stifling heat and tyre degradation that came from running the extra-soft Bridgestone compound. Schumacher, in particular, appeared to be in good shape, having maintained his advantage over Coulthard, despite the Scot closing in marginally once past Barrichello, and kept three sets of brand new tyres for the race.

It was ironic, therefore, that his rubber was the first thing to let the German down. Having retained his lead through the first round of stops, Schumacher was powerless to prevent Coulthard from closing in rapidly, and within seven laps the two cars were nose-to-tail. The Ferrari was clearly unable to transfer its prodigious power to the tarmac through this particular set of tyres, but Schumacher tried everything he knew to keep his rival at bay.

Time after time, Coulthard would get better traction on the run from Estoril to Adelaide, only to find the inside line blocked by the scarlet car. Then, on lap 33, the Scot appeared to be through - only for Schumacher to resist his early turn in and earn himself one finger and sundry other gestures for his defence!

He knew he was fighting a losing battle, however, and six laps later Coulthard finally found room on the inside. Reprising Schumacher's own tactics of running a little beyond the apex, the Scot was content to exchange rubber and paint with the Ferrari before easing away into the distance.

Only a short delay behind backmarkers prevented the McLaren from making an immediate escape but, by the time the second round of stops loomed on the horizon, he was a comfortable couple of seconds clear.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
David Coulthard - McLaren-Mercedes MP4-15
David Coulthard was happy with second on the grid
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB12.
28.08.2016. Race
(L to R): Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren with the media.
28.08.2016. Race
(L to R): Race winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 and second placed Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing in parc ferme.
28.08.2016. Race
Race winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates in parc ferme as his third placed team mate Lewis Hamilton (GBR) climbs from his Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid.
28.08.2016. Race
Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid leads behind the FIA Safety Car.
28.08.2016. Race
Race winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates in parc ferme as his third placed team mate Lewis Hamilton (GBR) climbs from his Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid.
28.08.2016. Race
Race winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates in parc ferme.
28.08.2016. Race
Race winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid celebrates as he enters parc ferme.
28.08.2016. Race
Race winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates on the podium.
28.08.2016. Race
Race winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates on the podium.
28.08.2016. Race
Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid.
28.08.2016. Race
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12.
28.08.2016. Race
A marshal waves a red flag as the race is stoppd.
28.08.2016. Race
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari with the media.
28.08.2016. Race
Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09.
28.08.2016. Race
Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16.
28.08.2016. Race

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.