Frustrating race for McLaren.
27th May, 2001
It is well known that that overtaking on the tight track in Monaco is almost impossible.
McLaren driver David Coulthard learned the lesson the hard way, during the Monaco GP
today. The Scotsman's car stalled on the grid at the warm up and he had to start from the
very back of the grid, instead of pole position. He did succeed in overtaking two cars but
then got stuck behind Enrique Bernoldi's Arrows until lap 45 when the Brazilian went for
his pit stop.
At the end of the day he was able to finish in 5th place and score two championship
"At the start of the formation lap there was a technical problem with the launch
control, which stopped the engine. It's something we have tested a lot and it shouldn't
have happened. Obviously I was frustrated when it occurred, but as a racing driver you
have to overcome that and concentrate on getting the car started and get on with the race.
I was stuck behind Bernoldi for many laps and I was afraid that if I took a dive he might
cut across and we would both end up in the barriers, so I had to be very patient. We have
to look at the positives and once we were in the race, we had a quick and reliable car.
I'm pleased to finish in the points but I wanted to win."
Apparently the launch control system detected a "parameter" it had not had
before, and shut down the engine. It has been reported that both Coulthard and team boss
Ron Dennis were not happy that Bernoldi held up the McLaren, even though they were racing
for position. It was alleged that Dennis went and had words with Arrows team boss Tom
Walkinshaw. David Coulthard has also performed remarkably well this weekend considering
that he is apparently suffering from a chest infection.
Mika Hakkinen seems to have had more than his fair share of bad luck this season. There
has not been a single race so far without technical problems with his MP4/16. Today, for
the fourth time in seven races the Finn did not see the chequered flag as a result of a
technical problem. Following Michael Schumacher closely in the beginning and recording one
fastest lap after the other, suddenly he had a very slow lap on lap 13 and five laps later
he had to park his car in the pit. "I made a good start and was close behind Michael
when all of sudden the car just started pulling to the right. I went into the pits but the
crew couldn't find anything wrong immediately and we decided to go back out. However, the
car was still behaving in a strange manner, and I decided that it would be impossible to
go flat out and there was no other option than to retire. We are not sure what the problem
was but I know that I didn't hit anything and I'm sure the engineers will find out very