Honda website
Honda website

MAY 14, 2001

Coulthard focuses on title quest

DAVID COULTHARD has ignored Ferrari's use of team orders in the Austrian Grand Prix and believes his McLaren team will continue to back himself and team-mate Mika Hakkinen equally.

As Coulthard powered to victory in Austria, behind him Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello was forced by his team to relinquish his second place to team-mate and championship leader Michael Schumacher.

The move caused controversy, but Coulthard, who has been the subject of McLaren team orders in the past, is focused on his quest to win the title rather than worrying about team orders.

"It's all cleared up," Coulthard said in reference to the team orders. "They're quite happy there is no problems.

"I think they'll continue to back us both equally until the point that one of us has got a clear lead. But at the moment I don't think that is the case."

Hakkinen's nightmare start to the season deepened when he exited the Austrian race after completing one lap after a problem with his car left him stuck on the grid. He has just four points this year and trails Schumacher by 38 points.

Coulthard added: "All I know is that I've never benefited from someone moving over for me so every point I've earned in Formula One has been through normal racing.

"I think a year ago it was clarified by Max Mosley that actually a team could run their cars as they felt fit and I don't have a problem with clear rules being upheld.

"What I have a problem with is these vague rules where you don't quite know where you stand. But in this situation it's quite clear and I drive the car and the team runs the team. Whatever happens we just do our job."