David Coulthard may be the oldest driver on the grid in 2007, but he still admits to feeling nervous ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix - the most glamorous and demanding race on the Formula 1 calendar.

Twice a winner of the event, the Scot delivered Red Bull Racing what remains to-date its only podium finish in the top flight around the narrow streets of the Principality last year, with a stirring drive to third place - a result that prompted team principal Christian Horner to dive naked into the swimming pool afterwards in celebration. He acknowledges a repeat result this time around will be a tall order, but equally knows nothing can be ruled out.

"This is the race that is obviously the biggest challenge for a driver," the 36-year-old explained. "It's the one that gives you the most nerves beforehand, because you can make a mistake on your first lap and you can make a mistake on your last lap. There's just no room for error, but you get much more than the normal points reward from a satisfaction point-of-view if you finish this grand prix."

Red Bull received a welcome boost last time out in Barcelona, when Coulthard came home in fifth place - despite having to complete the final part of the race in fourth gear and above - to open the team's points-scoring account in 2007 following a troubled start to the campaign. The 13-time grand prix winner is confident it will now be very much a case of onwards and upwards from here.

"Points are always important for a team," he underlined, "especially when you're mid-grid and trying to improve on seventh place which is where the team has been for the last few years in the constructors' championship.

"I think, encouragingly, you can see the pace of the car has been improving significantly over each of the races; we just haven't had the reliability. We had a lot of problems at the end of that grand prix but we were able to get to the finish and I'm excited about the fact that I think we're the most improved team since the beginning of the year. We're here to get points and our goal is to continue to develop and reduce the gap in lap-time. Our rate of development is there for everyone to see and we've just got to keep building on that.

"The thing I take most encouragement from is our race pace in Bahrain - where we had our first set of upgrades - and then in Barcelona, relative to the front-runners. We've got closer to McLaren and Ferrari, and that's enabled us to be more competitive in the races and get closer to BMW. Obviously we're in front of Renault and we've got to take heart from that. They don't win two world championships by accident and we're moving forward as a team. The investment is paying off."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...