Coulthards fifth a turning point for Red Bull? 13 May 2007
After crossing the line in fifth place, David Coulthard and Red Bull had much to celebrate in Spain on Sunday. Not only was it the Scots first race finish of the season - and the team's first points - their pace suggested that their revamp of the RB3 is paying off.
After the car's improved form in Barcelona testing last week, a confident qualifying performance saw Coulthard take seventh on the grid. And in the race the Red Bull was only marginally slower than the Ferraris, McLarens and BMW Saubers. It wasnt all smooth running, however, with Coulthard struggling during the closing stages when the teams new quick-shift gearbox started playing up.
Towards the end of the race, I lost third gear and thought I was going to have to retire the car, he explained. I managed to drive using only fourth and above, which lost me time in the last sector, but I was still able to be quick in the first.
Team mate Mark Webber also suffered reliability issues, with a recurrence of the hydraulic problem that had scuppered the Australians qualifying effort on Saturday. For Coulthard, however, the pace of the RB3 was reward enough and he quickly dismissed the technical issues as a natural by-product of the teams aggressive development programme.
We've made more progress than any other team since the beginning of the year and when you're aggressively attacking lap times, sometimes you have to put other areas of the car to one side, he explained. That's the growing pains we're going through at Red Bull Racing at present, but I think everyone agrees we'd rather have pace and show we're genuinely quick - and then work on reliability, than have a reliable car that only finishes tenth.
The team lie seventh in the constructors championship - one point behind Toyota.