Atlas F1 News Service

Coulthard Joins Dennis in Slamming Bernoldi

Sunday May 27th, 2001

McLaren's David Coulthard has joined his team boss Ron Dennis in slamming Brazilian driver Enrique Bernoldi after the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.

Coulthard, who had scored his second pole position of the season at Monaco, stalled on the grid before the formation lap and was forced to take the start from the back of the field, having to fight his way up the front. However, the Scot spent half the race behind Bernoldi's Arrows when fighting for fifteenth place.

Dennis had slammed the Brazilian after the race, accusing him and his team of unsporting behaviour. Coulthard agreed with his boss'point of view.

"I think two or three years ago I would have pushed him so far into the harbour...," said the Scot, still second in the championship but now 12 points behind Ferrari's Michael Schumacher.

"We were in 17th place, he's let his team mate past because he's obviously so slow and the Minardis are pulling away from him and then he proceeds to drive like he's getting some sort of glory in holding me up. No way was he ever going to keep in front of me once the pit-stops had happened. The sporting gesture would have been to move over."

Coulthard said there had been conversations in the drivers' briefings over the last few races about not hindering the leading car and he had done that for Schumacher when the Ferrari came up behind him as he was fighting Bernoldi.

"The whole race was hindered by what happened at the start," he said. "But I think sometimes you have to be sensible."

He accused Bernoldi of closing the door on him very aggressively and in a dangerous way and said he would be raising the matter at the next meeting of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association of which he is a director.

"I don't think what he did makes him appear a better racing driver or more desirable to other teams," he added. "I think it just makes him look like a short-sighted person because what goes around comes around."

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