SEPTEMBER 27, 2000
Coulthard irked by Schumacher jibes
David Coulthard can do nothing right in Michael Schumacher's book, or that's certainly the way it seemed after Sunday's US Grand Prix at Indianapolis where the winning Ferrari driver again wound up the Scot by suggesting he'd squeezed him dangerously during the opening stages in the race.
Sometimes the obvious irony of Schumacher's remarks takes the entire paddock by surprise, bearing in mind his uncompromising approach to close manoeuvring when he himself is on the defensive. Yet his approach to criticizing other people is sometimes so outwardly innocent, that one wonders whether he's just doing it to wind everybody up.
After Indianapolis Michael said; "Although David was not really in the championship, he tried a little bit too much.
"After trying to slow me down so Hakkinen could catch up, which was perfectly legal, he just pushed me wide when he did not have to and touched me. I just want to make sure we don't see team-mates helping the drivers fighting for the world championship in a way which is not appropriate.
The remarks had the intended effect, igniting Coulthard's blue touch paper. After finishing fifth he vigorously rebutted Michael's observations and was obviously annoyed that his sportsmanship was being called into question.
"Schumacher is so unfair," he said. "I think he pulled off a great overtaking manoeuvre down the outside. I give him credit for that and don't see why he should have a pop at me because it was always going to be close.
"It would have been very easy for me to accelerate Michael off the circuit at that point, but I didn't. It wouldn't have been sporting and it would have never crossed my mind.
"I'll be as helpful as I can to Mika in the remaining races because it's part of my job for the team, but I won't do anything outside the rules. I'll drive as I have always done."
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