Pressure 'could crack' Schumacher

David Coulthard yesterday increased the pressure on Michael Schumacher's pursuit of Ferrari's first drivers' crown in 21 years by suggesting that the German could crack under the strain. The Scot believes that his own McLaren team-mate, Mika Hakkinen, is more likely to keep his cool in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on Sunday.

David Coulthard yesterday increased the pressure on Michael Schumacher's pursuit of Ferrari's first drivers' crown in 21 years by suggesting that the German could crack under the strain. The Scot believes that his own McLaren team-mate, Mika Hakkinen, is more likely to keep his cool in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on Sunday.

Schumacher leads Hakkinen by eight points in the title chase going into the penultimate grand prix of the 17-race season, but Coulthard knows that Schumacher has shown enough times in the past that when the pressure is on he opts for desperate measures.

"Michael is a hard, consistent racer and I think he deserves credit for that, but I would not say there is any evidence that he handles pressure situations better," Coulthard insisted.

"There are enough indications that when he gets a bit desperate he is prepared to do what some people might question as unsporting. You just have to think back to Adelaide and Jerez, and when he was under pressure here a couple of years ago, when he was on the front of the grid and he stalled."

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