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Coulthard tells of accident fears.

Byline: By Alastair Moffitt

David Coulthard admitted he feared someone would be injured in a frightening shunt early in yesterday's Monaco Grand Prix.

Takuma Sato inadvertently prompted the chaotic scenes when his Honda engine, which had looked in trouble from the start, blew up, billowing smoke across the track on lap three.

With drivers behind him unable to see, Coulthard slowed only to have Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella smash into the back of his McLaren.

The Italian's car rolled over in midair and plunged on to a steel barrier upside down.

Fisichella was fortunate to walk away, but Coulthard admitted things could have been worse.

The Scot said: "I'm really disappointed and upset as I love this race.

"I was very worried when Fisichella flew over me and his car landed upside down. We were lucky not to have a more serious accident.

"When Sato's engine blew up I couldn't see anything in front of me because of the smoke, so perhaps Fisichella was going a bit too fast.

"However, smoke was coming from Sato's car already on the parade lap."

Fisichella was more angry that he missed the chance to fight for his best result of the season.

With team-mate Felipe Massa fifth, Fisichella felt he had been denied a good result.

"I'm very disappointed," he said. "I made a good start and was just driving gently, saving the tyres, when Sato's engine exploded.

"I'd seen it smoking but nobody expected it to break like that. I had no vision at all. Rubens Barrichello and Juan Pablo Montoya were in front and then suddenly there was a McLaren.

"I'm not sure why it was there, but the next thing I heard was the bang and I was upside down."

Fisichella's accident was not the only drama in Formula One's most exciting race of the season.

Fernando Alonso, who was running second behind team-mate and eventual winner Jarno Trulli, brought out the safety car for a second time after crashing heavily in the tunnel while trying to lap Ralf Schumacher's Williams.

During that safety car period Michael Schumacher crashed out after an incident with Juan Pablo Montoya's Williams.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 24, 2004
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