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Formula One: Worried Scot told to Coul it.

Byline: TED MACAULEY

DAVID Coulthard was last night ordered to stop being so hard on himself being by McLaren team boss Ron Dennis.

Coulthard's championship chase is in danger of collapsing in a mess of crashes, poor qualifying and breakdowns.

The Scot is worried he could be a fading Formula One force, which has prompted Dennis, normally a tough talker, to take a more sympathetic line on his troubled superstar.

Coulthard takes part in the Monaco Grand Prix tomorrow knowing victory is crucial if he is to stay on course for the championship.

Coulthard was victorious in Monte Carlo last year in one of his greatest ever races and his dream is to make it a hat-trick of wins over the most glamorous track on the circuit.

But since his sensational win in the curtain raiser in Australia, Coul has fallen to fifth in the championship and suffered a miserable log of qualifying times.

Coulthard said: "I've got to get my act together now - and quick."

And Dennis, bidding to refuel his driver's confidence, said: "David is sometimes far too hard on himself and is having problems in qualifying.

"Last time out, in Austria, he didn't cope well and really screwed it up. But he is professional and if he didn't feel the pain of a mistake than he would not be a racing driver.

"There is no missing link or anything lacking. Its just that in this one-lap qualifying you pay a heavy price if you make a mistake."

Coulthard, who lives in Monaco and knows its tricky pitfalls better than most, added: "I have struggled with the one-lap qualifying format.

"I've had a 12th, 13th and 14th in the sessions so far - and that means you don't have the opportunity to find out about the track or where your car is.

"But my feeling is that a lot can still happen and I haven't written off my chances.

"I am looking forward to Sunday's race - it has something special about it, a weekend I always enjoy and I'd love to make it a hat-trick."

CAPTION(S):

ROYAL RECEPTION: Coulthard has a chat with Prince Albert of Monaco
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 31, 2003
Words:359
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