From the Sporting Life site:
David Coulthard is confident he will not be axed by his Formula One team
McLaren next year even if they decide to ditch one of their drivers.
The team are rumoured to be considering their***pit line-up for 1998 with
both Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen out of contract at the end of the season.
But Coulthard, currently in his second year with McLaren, believes that if it
does come down to choice then it will be his Finnish rival who gets the chop.
"I am confident for the year ahead," said the 26-year-old Scotsman, who goes
searching for his second win for the team in Canada on Sunday.
"I certainly won't be the first to know whether I'm staying or leaving. But I
very much hope I will be staying.
"I don't see any reason at the moment why they would want to change me. I feel
I'm doing a good job. I have made some mistakes but I am still learning."
Coulthard opened the season in style with an unexpected victory in Australia
but then had to wait for another five races before scoring his next point with
sixth place in Spain three weeks ago.
That leaves him fifth in the drivers' championship 19 points behind pace-setter
Jacques Villeneuve but more importantly one point ahead of Hakkinen.
Monaco-based Coulthard has also outgunned his fellow McLaren driver in
qualifying in four of the six races, though Hakkinen has been more consistent
in races with four points finishes so far.
Coulthard, who lost out on fifth place in Barcelona when overtaken by Johnny
Herbert on the last lap, is hoping he can remain among the points in Sunday's
"I think that this should be a good circuit for us," he added. "But I thought
that last year but qualifying was disappointing, although I finished fourth in
"The long straights here should give us a slight advantage in qualifying, but
if we get the balance wrong then we will be playing catch-up."
Villeneuve will start favourite for a victory on home soil that would increase
his three-point advantage over Ferrari's Michael Schumacher at the top of the
Villeneuve knows that over 100,000 Canadians will pack into a circuit named in
honour of his late father, Gilles, expecting him to improve on last year's
second place to Damon Hill and win the race for the first time.
"I realise that expectations are so high," he said. "Nothing but a win will be
accepted. I would be disappointed if the result was bad and I will be giving it
my best shot."
If I were David then I would not be sticking my neck on the block this early
in the season - he is being rather foolish unless he has already been told his
contract is safe. Ron Dennis is known to love Mika though, so I wonder if
anything will change at McLaren after reading David's comments.
Opinions expressed are my own and not my employers
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