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Friday, October 22, 2004

End Of Buttongate: Now call DC

David Coulthard may not be the most popular driver in the world. His reputation in fact has taken a severe beating in recent times. Outdriven first by one Mika Hakkinen and now by the mecurial Kimi Raikkonen. Unable to get to grips with the one lap qualifying. Though I sympathize with him on that. It's a stupid idiotic qualifying format. Give me the old 12 lap style. Or better yet give me the old days when you could run balls out for as many laps as you wished for one hour. Sometimes, it takes one lap for a driver to warm up before he can go flat out. I think DC is one of those drivers.

Nevertheless, given these less than flattering performances, I should think DC is still the best candidate for the Williams drive. Mark Webber is a superb driver. To me, he is the one who reminds me most of Michael Schumacher, in the sense that he is consistently quick and produces solid performances, one after another. In this his third season in Formula 1, he has gained lots of experience and is ready for an assault on the driver's title.

DC on the other hand, has not been consistent at all in the McLaren. Regularly blown away by Kimi and often seen languishing in the most unflattering of spots figthing for eigth or ninth for the scraps of points. Perhaps, this is due to the fact that he knows he is in a team that no longer wants him in the long term. This would have a great psychological impact on him. Look at Montoya, the man who is replacing him. He knew way back in 2003 that this season would be his last at Williams. And just like DC, his performance has been completely rubbish. Both these men just don't have the motivation, that extra 50% required.

By his own admission, DC does not want to quit. I mean, who does? I remember Gerhard Berger's final season in 1997. It was heartache to be in a position where no team would hire him once Benetton (now Renault) decided to let him go. However, Gerhard I felt, no longer had that determination to keep on staying. He certainly gave up quite easily in the end. Certainly, his attempts to stay in Formula 1 are no where near as intense as DC, who's lobbying left right and center for a place in an outfit.

That determination is proof I believe, that given the right circumstances, he has at least one world title in him. Just as Mansell was rubbish in the Lotus before moving to Williams in 1985, so I think DC would excel in the same situation. Perhaps not with the same flair but certainly enough I believe to go head to head and keep Mr Webber honest. Frank Williams and Patrick Head are enough of the old school I believe to want two equally quick and determined drivers in the team. Their priority of course is the constructor's title, drivers championship be damned. For that they need two drivers who will push each other, but hopefully not to bits. Incidentally, I don't think Mark Webber has had any team mate his equal. It would be interesting to see how he fares with a team mate equally good (if DC turns out to be that).

Williams' other candidates such as Antonio Pizzonia I don't think would succeed. He's good in testing but come the race, Pizzonia completely fails to impress me. He got beat by Mark Webber in the Jaguar and he got beat by Mark Webber in a Williams. Somehow, I think he wouldn't be able to live with Mark given the same machinery. Frank Williams does not want that I should think. I believe Frank wants someone to challenge Mark all the way. After all, if Frank really were the type to pamper the needs of just one driver ala Michael Schumacher, he wouldn't have tried to sign Button.

DC is his best choice. I would certainly like to see him in Williams next year.

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