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Melbourne no fluke says DC 10 Mar 2003

Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 9 March 2003

Australian Grand Prix winner David Coulthard says his 13th triumph was no fluke, and that he is looking forward to taking the fight to Ferrari in 2003.

"Clearly there were unusual circumstances because you don't usually see cars achieve podium finishes from the pit lane and so far down the grid," the Scot admitted, "but I think pace-wise we generally believe that we're competitive with Williams but still have a little bit of a gap to Ferrari. That's going to change when we go to different tracks. None of us knows what the future's going to hold and we expect a lot from our new car when it comes out, probably at the fifth or sixth race."

He said it was encouraging to see that Ferrari is fallible after all.

"You've got to say that because clearly they have a quick car, but as I know from when I've driven cars that have been the class of the field before, they're not always the easiest ones to drive and occasionally they are dropping the ball. Under pressure Ferrari can make mistakes."

Coulthard said that he has high hopes for the current McLaren MP4-17D Mercedes in Malaysian in two weeks' time, when he defends his world championship lead. "We have made some great progress with the car."