Thursday June 7th, 2001
McLaren are confident there will be no recurrence of the start problems that dogged Formula One title contender David Coulthard in Spain and Monaco this season.
"We've tested extensively with the system again and we're pretty confident we've cured both the problems," Coulthard told a news conference on Thursday ahead of Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix.
The Scot said the troubles in Barcelona, where so-called 'launch control' electronic software was reintroduced in May to help drivers make faster starts, and most recently in Monte Carlo were different.
"The problem in Monaco wasn't actually launch control, it was an engine management something or other. I don't know the technicalities of it all," said Coulthard. "Barcelona was launch control, Monaco was just unfortunate.
"Of all the hundreds of starts that I have done using the system, I've only had three failures. One was in testing and two of them were in racing. That's just a bit unlucky," added Coulthard.
McLaren have suffered four stalls at the start of races this season, with driver error being blamed for Mika Hakkinen's failures. Coulthard qualified on pole for the last Monaco Grand Prix but his hopes evaporated after he stalled at the start of the formation lap and had to go to the back of the grid.
The Scot eventually finished fifth and now lags world champion Michael Schumacher by 12 points after eight of the 17 races. Coulthard also stalled before the formation lap in Canada last year and, although mechanics managed to get him going again before it was too late, he was given a 10 second stop-go penalty that he said cost him victory.