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>> News > Sport
Formula 1: Coulthard Asks If He Can Leave Caravan Behind At Next Grand Prix - April 25th 2004

British driver David Coulthard has asked his team McLaren Mercedes if they should consider scrapping the new caravan attachment created for their 2004 Season car, the McLaren MP4/19. He has blamed the device for being responsible for most of the pace problems they have been suffering this season.

“Whilst my choice of tyres hasn’t been very good and our strategies have been dubious I feel that the new caravan attachment is the biggest source of our race pace problems.” Coulthard explained, “I think there would be a great deal of sense in scrapping the caravan idea and returning to a more conventional design.”

David Coulthard Towing a Caravan
David Coulthard blames the Team’s Decision to make their drivers tow a caravan to be fundamental in explaining their poor pace

McLaren Boss Ron Dennis was quick to dismiss his driver’s suggestions:

“Whilst David is obviously frustrated with the team’s poor performance, I think that by placing most of the blame on one component is serious lapse in judgement. Whilst the caravan isn’t proving to be as revolutionary as we had hoped, we are introducing a new caravan design at the next grand prix, with a better aerodynamics package which we hope will prove much more effective in the race.”

It is not just David Coulthard to criticise McLaren’s new design. Many of the drivers have found the addition to cause added difficulties. Williams driver Ralf Schumacher was quick to attack McLaren’s new design:

“Because I stopped to answer my mobile phone during qualifying, and nodded off whilst on the grid waiting for the race to start I ended up behind David on the track. However getting past him proved very difficult. Whilst the fact he was towing a caravan legally restricted his speed to 50mph, the caravan made he very awkward to pass. It wouldn’t have been so bad if had just been him, but every time I came to pass him, there was another McLaren towing a caravan in front of him.”

Ferrari Boss, Jean Todt, has claimed he is very unimpressed with McLaren’s blatant disregard of the rules by introducing the caravan design, claiming the FIA regulations restrict Formula 1 cars to only 4 wheels. The McLaren design has 6 wheels in total – 7 if you count the little wheel at front.

One driver who has not objected to the new design is McLaren’s second driver Kimi Raikonen:

“David has only opted to take a small caravan on his car. Whilst this gives him better acceleration and a higher top speed, when his Mercedes engine finally packs in, he can’t get in his caravan and watch Satellite TV like I can.”

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