When David Coulthard joined McLaren its true to say he was in a 'no win' situation.
If he was blown away by Hakkinen people would say he was no good (I was going to say
crap, but being a considerate person I would not use language like that!)
Similarly, if he blew Hakkinen away people would say Hakkinen was still suffering from
his Adelaide crash.
With the situation as it presently stands it is true to say that he has won. I don't
mean he is better than Hakkinen; they are equal in talent (who would have said that at
the start of the season!). He was down, but has clawed, nae, strode forward.
With so many drivers, a bad start to a season, in comparison to their team mate, seems
irreversible. Herbert at Benneton, Patrese at Benneton, Verstappen at Benneton (can you
see a trend there?) Katayama at Tyrrell being examples. There are probably others but
you try thinking of them after drinking the amount of vodka I have (Russian reader need
This seems to show a mental toughness in Davey boy that is a rare thing in this feather
cushioned world of F1. Don't say a bad word about most F1 drivers, they'll be in the
trailer crying for a week!
As for the rest of the season? I reckon that Hakkinen and Davey boy will trade times and
be a good spur for each other. The strongest pairing in F1?. I think so. Excluding
Minardi of course :)
At the start of the year, commentators wanted to see how David compared with Mika. Most
reckoned that he would be slower (considerably so). What now? The comparison with David
and Mika will then be compared with David and Damon at Williams. Not fair. Damon had two
years in F1. When David was settled, he was faster. Pole at Argentina which neither
Damon and David had driven at. Pole at Aida, which David had not driven at.
David is a fast learner, faster than Jacques seems to be. Jacques is good but in F1
terms not as good at David seem to be. The reputation cannot help though.
I fear however that no matter how good David and Mika are, McLaren will not supply a car
that will do their talent justice. McLaren need a shake up in personnell.
It seems that a listing of some sort is needed in these postings.
I'll give you mine. The listing below is based, not on outright 'raw' speed which is
fine for 'arrive and drive' racing, but in F1 driving. That means speed and setting up
skills (remember that Hakkinen and Alesi fans!)
4. All the other F1 drivers. Sorry but no one else stands out.
I apologise for this rather long and rambling posting. I'll try drinking less before
posting next time.
President of the Mike Strong F1 opinions club.
The above views are definately a reflection of my employer.