Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report
Appeal's Decision Expected Tomorrow;
Coulthard Optimistic

Monday April 3rd, 2000

By Rex Gowar

David Coulthard said after the appeal hearing today that he was optimistic he would be reinstated as Brazilian grand prix runner-up.

The McLaren driver was disqualified by the race stewards at Interlagos eight days ago after finishing behind Michael Schumacher because his car broke technical regulations relating to the front-wing end plates.

Coulthard will regain his points, McLaren's first of the sweason, if the International Automobile Association's (FIA) international court of appeal rules in his favour.

"Obviously we have to wait until tomorrow to find out the outcome but we're very comfortable with the presentation we made," Coulthard said.

The decision would not be announced until Tuesday, FIA spokesman Francesco Longanesi said.

Speaking outside the headquarters of the French Automobile Club (ACF) where the appeal was heard, Coulthard reiterated the team's argument that the infringement was caused by the bumpy Interlagos track.

"Obviously, I can't go into details but we just put forward the case that led to the car not being within the regulations at the end of the race, when quite clearly it started the race within the regulations, and the unusual circumstances with the very bumpy nature of that track," he said.

"So, hopefully FIA will have a positive ruling. We'd like to think we put forward a strong case but ultimately we have to wait for the decision tomorrow."

McLaren's lawyer Tim Murnane said the team's technical manager Martin Whitmarsh spoke first at their hearing and was followed by Coulthard.

Murnane said the team did not bring any car parts as evidence but showed photographs and a video of the race to explain their case.

The five-strong appeal panel is headed by Belgian Philippe Roberti de Winghe.

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