David Coulthard’s nightmarish Monaco weekend continued in qualifying with a horrific 185kph shunt into the Monte Carlo armco, the cause of which left the Scott bemused.
The Red Bull driver had just charged into the top ten when his RB4 snapped away from him on the exit of the tunnel. The initial impact with the armco ripped the wheels of his car and sent the two times Monaco winner careering into the escape road barriers.
“I was doing around 185kph when the incident happened, and I went into the wall quite hard,” explained the 37-year-old. “When I hit the brakes the car turned, I was going over a rise so it’s possible I locked the rear axel, but normally when that happens, you can just release the brake a little bit.”
“We’ll check the car and see if anything was going wrong at the rear, as it turned very quickly. It’s normal for the rear to go light when you brake there, as we don’t have engine braking or anything like that, but you drive with that in mind, so I’m surprised what happened was so violent. But, we’ll get the car back, look at the data and then we’ll know.”
It’s been a case of one step forward two steps backwards for F1’s elder statesman this weekend. The Scott was unable to complete a single lap on Thursday due to a throttle problem. And in this mornings warm-up he suffered an oil problem which left him languishing down in P20.
The shunt in qualifying meant he was forced to sit out the elite top-ten shoot out and watch his team-mate Mark Webber once again qualify strongly. It is the fourth time the Australian has out-qualified Coulthard.
Team Principal Christian Horner was relieved to see Coulthard escape unhurt and was buoyed by seeing both cars line up in the top ten.
“The main thing after such a nasty looking incident is that David is completely unharmed and the cars damage is relatively contained so, after a difficult weekend for him, which has included engine throttle problems on Thursday, a gearbox oil pressure issue this morning and a large accident in Q2, to still be tenth on the grid is positive for him!
“So I’m sure David will be fine in tomorrow’s race. Mark comfortably made it through the first two qualifying sessions and we think we’re reasonably placed for whatever the weather may throw at us tomorrow.”