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DATE News (chronologically)
06/07/09
f1
Coulthard supports Hamilton excuses
(GMM)  David Coulthard has defended Lewis Hamilton, after the reigning world champion qualified 16th in Turkey and then wrote off his 2009 campaign and car.

Hamilton, 24, was also outpaced in Istanbul by his teammate Heikki Kovalainen, but then told the press that "it's the car" at fault and advised McLaren to begin turning its focus to 2010.

But retired Coulthard, who raced for McLaren between 1996 and 2004, wrote in his column for the BBC that while Hamilton "just didn't get it right" on Saturday, and also two weeks ago in Monaco, his subsequent attitude is not incorrect.

"Hamilton can choose to hide his head in the sand and keep on churning out the company line about the next development and the next upgrade," said the Scot, who still travels to all the grands prix as a TV pundit.

"But instead I think he is being fairly honest about the situation and he has already started talking about 2010."

Coulthard also agrees with Hamilton that hoping the MP4-24, and the 2009 world championship, can be rescued, would be a mislaid belief.

"I simply do not believe they are going to be able to develop their way out of this problem," said the 38-year-old.

"I've just never seen anyone upgrade an existing car and turn it into a race winner from the position McLaren are in," said Coulthard.

However, he said the Woking based team must continue to work on its 2009 package because "that is all part of understanding what will work in the next campaign".

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