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DECEMBER 9, 2000

Barrichello dismisses Coulthard's title chances

RUBENS BARRICHELLO has dismissed the title chances of Briton David Coulthard and said he will be the man to challenge Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen for the championship.

Brazilian Barrichello said Coulthard's insistence that he will become champion have yet to be founded and the Ferrari driver believes the Scot will fall short again in 2001.

"I know that David Coulthard has said he is going to win the title," said the Brazilian. "He's been saying that for the last five years so no one believes him anymore."

Barrichello, who finished fourth overall behind Coulthard in the 2000 standings, showed he meant business with an impressive display in wet conditions during Jerez testing this week.

This year, the Ferrari number two driver is aiming to gain experience right from the start of testing in order to mount a serious challenge for the world title in 2001.

"I accumulated a lot of experience in my first year with Ferrari," he said. "But it started with a series of problems, because I wasn't familiar with the car.

"If I had had all the information I have now, it would have been much easier. At the moment I think I can be up there with Mika and Michael, because I feel more confident."