Wednesday June 27th, 2001
David Coulthard has admitted he does not share McLaren boss Ron Dennis's view that the battle to retain the services of technical director Adrian Newey is to blame for the team's poor form in the last few races.
Dennis suggested earlier this week that the tangle to keep Newey has distracted the team, who have been struggling to keep up with Ferrari's and Williams' pace. McLaren have not won since the Austrian Grand Prix last month and have scored a couple of third places as their best results in the last two Grands Prix, in Canada and Germany.
But Coulthard, now lying 24 points behind Ferrari's Michael Schumacher in the World Championship standings, was surprised at Dennis's claims and believes the Newey case is not a excuse for McLaren's poor showing.
"I am surprised Ron said that," Coulthard told the BBC. "It does not sound like him at all. I don't sense that at all. Naturally there was an interest in the issue but I didn't see it affecting the engineers.
"I don't think it held up the development of the car this year, though it might have delayed the development of next year's car for a few days."
Published at 11:21:20 GMT