Coulthard keeps faith in launch control

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The Independent Online

David Coulthard has pledged to stand by the launch control system on his McLaren which could cost him more championship points. The 30-year-old Scot has no intention of disabling the system for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix ­ despite being left stranded on the grid twice in the past three races when the computer software failed.

Coulthard's McLaren Mercedes team have been working flat out since the last race in Monaco to try to solve the problem. But despite the system failing twice in 12 attempts when the test driver Alexander Wurz practiced starts in France last week, Coulthard will continue to use it. "We intend to keep using the system because in all the simulations we have carried out up to now it showed itself to be much quicker than the manual start," Coulthard said. "In all the tests the part of the system that failed in Monaco has worked perfectly. The difficulties in Monaco and Spain were different and we are almost certain now that those problems have been resolved."

Coulthard forced his way from the back of the grid in Spain and Monaco to maintain his record of finishing in the points in all seven races so far this campaign. But the fifth place he had to settle for on both occasions ­ when he could have expected to be on the podium ­ could prove crucial in his title battle with Ferrari's Michael Schumacher.

The German was gifted the easiest of victories when Coulthard stalled in Monte Carlo to move 12 points clear with 10 races left. Coulthard now badly needs to hit back with a win in Montreal. "There is still a long way to go in the championship," the Scot said. "I am looking forward to Sunday's race and continuing my consistent record of finishing in the points at every race so far."

Schumacher added: "I have always done well in Canada, so let's hope I can keep that series. I don't know why I do well here as I would even doubt that the circuit suits my style of driving. There are still 10 races to go, so having an advantage of 12 points is nice to have, but not sufficient. We know that, so I am looking to Canada knowing we have a good car, we have a chance, but it will be a hard fight."

* Jaguar won a first-round legal victory over McLaren yesterday in the battle to secure the services of the top designer Adrian Newey. Jaguar said they and parent company Ford had secured an injunction in the High Court against McLaren, preventing them from employing Newey beyond the expiration of his current contract next year. The clash between the two teams erupted last week when Jaguar said that Newey had signed a binding contract. Within hours, however, McLaren replied with a statement saying Newey had changed his mind and was staying.