Coulthard confident of Monaco upturn

Last updated at 10:54 20 May 2004

David Coulthard has "a hunch" McLaren's season may be about to improve at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

The Scot has scored just four points from five races this season - with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen having only claimed one - and has become used to struggling towards the wrong end of the grid.

But McLaren have been testing exhaustively at Paul Ricard in France and with Monaco's twists and turns unique on the Formula One calendar, Coulthard has a feeling he may be in with a better chance this weekend.

He said: "To be perfectly honest I am quite curious to know just how well the car performs around here.

"Part of the Ricard test last week was aimed specifically towards this weekend and tyre selection. We were driving and trying to identify those main areas that would be similar to the track here.

"So I am hoping and I have a hunch that we could be a little bit better on this circuit relative to some of the others."

Hopes on a knife-edge

However, Coulthard is realistic enough to know his optimism could be shattered within a handful of laps when practice starts today, ahead of the traditional Friday rest day.

"Racing drivers, I think, have the ability to mentally re-set," he said.

"Monday morning after a bad grand prix you are already thinking you can win the next one. That belief that we can be better here could all come undone. After five laps you will get an indication of how quick you are.

"The truth is we honestly don't know how quick we are going to be on this track because if you analyse our time loss around the various tracks we have had so far and the speeds of corners it is a little bit everywhere.

"So do the sequence of corners here, the tyre choice we have made and the engine performance we have this weekend, will all those factors give me the confidence to pull something out? Obviously I hope that is the case."

Two of the high points in Coulthard's 10 years in Formula One have come in Monaco, with victories in 2000 and 2002.

He added: "My two victories at Monaco have been highlights of my career so far.

"Realistically it is unlikely I will add another Monte Carlo win to my tally this year, however hopefully we will be able to improve on our performance in Spain and take some points."

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