A disappointing Brazilian Grand Prix for Red Bull couldn’t overshadow a season that bodes well for the future in David Coulthard’s eyes.
The veteran Scot had hoped he and team-mate Mark Webber might score points, but Webber retired from fifth with a gearbox disconnect, and Coulthard could not improve on his ninth place in qualifying.
He said: “I thought we might get into the points today, but unfortunately I didn’t have enough pace relative to the cars in front.
“I came together with Nakajima towards the end of the race, which knocked my front suspension out and the car was moving strangely around left-handers for the last 10 laps. We just weren’t quick enough today.”
He was both positive and realistic about the future: “I would like to thank every member of the team, both race and test and everyone based at the factory, for all their efforts this year. As difficult as this season was, it’s only going to get more difficult as we move forwards – but I’m up for the challenge and I’m sure they are too.”
Team boss Christian Horner added: “We struggled a little with some graining on David’s tyres. We rolled the dice and adjusted his strategy when it was obvious that he couldn’t pass the cars ahead, and decided to fuel him to the finish.
“He then had a knock with Nakajima, which cost him a considerable amount of time. It’s frustrating to have started in such strong grid positions, but to come away ultimately with nothing.”
He acknowledged the gearbox problems that have dogged the team’s season, despite recent improvements: “I think the whole team’s worked incredibly hard this year and we’ve seen some very positive signs in the car’s performance over the last quarter of the season.
“However, the transmission train has let us down too many times this year, so we need to go away, do our homework over the winter, build on the momentum from the last few races and make sure that we carry that in to 2008.”