Motor racing: Street life suits Coulthard in race of the residents
Thursday 21 May 1998
Coulthard and Hakkinen are among 10 Formula One drivers who live, nominally at least, in the principality. However, while Coulthard has made himself at home in the Monaco Grand Prix, Hakkinen has looked embarrassingly misplaced in the past, and Sunday's race is a potentially defining confrontation for both.
Hakkinen's best position here is the sixth he achieved in 1996, and that in freak circumstances, when he failed to finish.
Coulthard was second that day and has consistently been quicker than the Finn in the face of the unique challenge presented by this street circuit.
Coulthard, trailing by seven points, after Hakkinen's victory in Spain said: "This is one of my best circuits and so I believe I have a great opportunity on Sunday. Spain went his way but I have maintained all along there will be races where he goes well and races where I go well.
"This track is one of the great challenges in Formula One and I feel it brings the best out of me. Mika has had his problems here in the past and it is the kind of circuit where you cannot afford any mistakes.
"I don't think living here has any real advantage when it comes to the race. You just feel that bit more comfortable and relaxed. But then there are a lot of us living here, including Mika."
Hakkinen admitted he was eager to put a stop to his calamitous sequence. "It has been a really bad race for me," he said. "I have some difficult years. I did win a race, in 1993, but it was not in Formula One. I'd rather not talk about the other years.
"It's nice to be in Monaco and sleep in my own bed. Then I can just get on the scooter and go to the circuit. It makes life easier."
Hakkinen maintains, however, that driving a McLaren is not as easy as it looks. While most observers would welcome Michael Schumacher's intervention in the proceedings, Hakkinen said: "It is not the cruise it can seem. I am still fighting - I am fighting with myself and with the car. It is not always about fighting other drivers."
Many would argue it is about racing other drivers. Those seeking more variety will be encouraged by Schumacher's record here - three wins in the last four years. The German, who is third in the title chase, said: "I don't think it is right to say this is a key race. It is too early in the season to talk that way. But it would be useful to stay in contact."
Entertainment is no concern of Coulthard or Hakkinen, however. "I'm here to win," Coulthard said, "not to worry about the show." Hakkinen added: "I suppose the public would like to see more action but I am not looking for any change."
Latest in Sport
Mayweather-Pacquiao: Ricky Hatton, Mike Tyson, Ronda Rousey and more make their predictions
Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
Kyle Walker video: Tottenham defender categorically denies 'disgusting' rumours on Facebook
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Arsenal transfer targets: The summer signings that would please Thierry Henry, including Sami Khedira and Edinson Cavani
- 1 The scientist who takes 100 drugs a day so he can live to 150
- 2 The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
£18000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is recruiting for ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This B2B software supplier, spe...
£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing SaaS (Softwar...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has arisen for an ex...