David Coulthard has voiced his frustration following his non-finishing US Grand Prix attempt yesterday. Coulthard didn’t even manage to get the chance to race really, having his afternoon ended for him into the first corner on the opening lap. Running down to turn one, David looked fine to make the corner, but the problem wasn’t his own that finished his day. Instead it was Ralf Schumacher who locked up and ploughed into the side of the Red Bull, ending both races pretty much there and then.
Speaking to the press, Coulthard is frustrated that experienced drivers still feel they can win points in the first corner.
It is something we talk about, and we all understand we are not going to score points going into the first corner. We only score points at the chequered flag, and we try and agree you do your racing off the line. And if you can do your move in the braking zone, fine, but at no point rub up against people. These aren’t sports cars or NASCAR where you can rub metal. You know, we break carbon fibre. That doesn’t work. David Coulthard.
Meanwhile, Ralf has put the incident down to a simple racing accident. The collision ended Rubens Barrichello’s race as well, as both Honda’s got caught up in the pile up. Jenson Button managed to avoid the worse of it, but Rubens suffered a damaged suspension. Defending his corner, Ralf had the following to say.
Things do happen at the start. The grip was not perfect, and the tyres locked a little bit. It was pretty messy up there. I just got in the way of David or he in my way, one of the two. It’s just unfortunate. Ralf Schumacher.
It’s a shame that Ralf doesn’t know exactly what happened, you would of thought he would have done, coming from behind such as he was. But the German has also insisted that while he was apparently under a two race probation in North America, he will continue to drive the Toyota in France next month.
Toyota is getting increasingly irritated by Schumacher’s lack of pace, and although the car isn’t great, team mate Jarno Trulli is fairing much better than Ralf. In fact, at Indy the Italian scored even more points, extending his tally to seven points while Ralf languishes on just two.
I hope for a better result at the French Grand Prix. Ralf Schumacher.
Ralf also insisted that he will try harder to score points at next years US event. To me, that sounds very much like a poor excuse. I will try harder next time, I promise. Ralf is one of the highest paid racers in Formula One, as well as one of the most experienced. To be banding around comments like that just highlight how poor his career is going at the moment. I am personally surprised Toyota haven’t stuck test driver Franck Montagny in the second car yet, or prised Kazuki Nakajima from customer team Williams.
Ralf will race in Magny Cours, and we have until August or September to decide whether or not we take the option on his contract and continue with him next year as well. John Howett – Toyota Team President.
How long do Toyota intend to continue like this…?