Atlas F1 News Service

Coulthard Supports Rolling Start Idea

Friday August 31st, 2001

David Coulthard walked away from a massive 160 km/h crash on Friday and agreed with Jaguar's Eddie Irvine that Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix needs to start behind the safety car - or risk opening lap carnage.

The 30-year-old Scot said, if it is raining, the 45-lap classic must be started with care because banks of spray will make the conditions virtually undriveable and unsafe.

"Going up the hill, you can't see much at all," Coulthard said. "Visibility really is a big problem and that's why, when we started last year, we had the safety car out. I know a lot of people called us 'pussy cats', but the truth is that we just can't see.

"It doesn't take bravery to set fly into a ball of spray. It just takes stupidity. That's why the decision about the conditions must be made from behind the field. At the back you can see the spray and the conditions and make the decisions."

The McLaren driver's big shunt brought back nightmare memories of his angry collision with Michael Schumacher during the 1998 Belgian race after which the German ace had to be held back from the Scot in a pit-lane confrontation.

This time, Coulthard smashed into the safety railing high in the Ardennes forest after spinning across the circuit in relatively dry conditions. He was left watching as newly-crowned champion Schumacher topped the times despite ramming into the back of Pedro de la Rosa's Jaguar in the blinding spray in the afternoon.

Published at 15:49:05 GMT

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