David Coulthard has backed away from recent reports that quoted him as being critical of countryman Lewis Hamilton’s formula one rise.
The grand prix veteran told a British tabloid late last year that being world champion Fernando Alonso’s teammate at McLaren in his rookie F1 season could “destroy” his career.
“Why would I want to say anything negative about someone I believe is a clear talent and deserves to be in formula one?” 35-year-old Coulthard, who insisted that he simply pointed out Hamilton’s inexperience, rhetorically asked.
Red Bull’s Coulthard also tried to ease the commotion surrounding 22-year-old Hamilton’s massive crash last week at Valencia, amid media speculation that it was a driver error at turn one.
McLaren has not publicised the cause of the high speed shunt.
“It doesn’t matter,” David said, “it is what it is. You drive cars quickly and occasionally you drop them.”
Another Briton, however, Jenson Button, warned Hamilton to avoid the mistakes he made when entering F1 as a youngster seven years ago.
“It is difficult to get respect at that age,” the works Honda driver told the Daily Telegraph, “and you need that.
“I came in thinking it was all going to be sweet and easy — it’s not.”