Retiring driver, David Coulthard, had a few choice words about Nick Heidfeld when British ITV caught up with him after their tangle into the final corner of this morning's Chinese qualifying session.
Nick Heidfeld took the inside of the last corner just before DC was due to head into his fast lap (flying lap), but as soon as he was around the corner, the German driver cut across the Red Bull to enter the pits, as a result DC was forced to slow and wasn't given the ideal run up to start his lap.
Speaking to British ITV, DC said, "“I am extremely disappointed in what Heidfeld has just done there."
“He’s not going to start his lap and do a quicker lap passing me on the inside into the last corner, he’s on the dirty side, and then he comes in at the end of that lap anyway."
“[On] His lap he can tell on the big screens that he was still in the top 10, so for me it is the worst possible example of unsportsmanlike behavior because all he is doing is screwing my lap—there is no intention for him to do a quicker lap on that.”
Coulthard, who is retiring this year, confirmed that he had asked Red Bull Racing's team boss to record a complaint with the stewards about Heidfeld's behavior. The Scotsman, who has been racing for over ten years, said that sort of driving reflects the sort of man Heidfeld is.
“I am out of that part of qualifying, there you go, but this is something the stewards should be picking up on because…that’s kicking your ball out of the rough, that’s hitting someone below the belt—that’s really, really bad behavior from Nick,” he said.
“I’ve always given Nick the benefit of the doubt, even though he’s been right on the line and maybe slightly over it over the years in some of his driving standards."
“But that to me sums up the man quite frankly—he’s not a sportsman.”
In the post qualifying press conference, DC told the media "I’m extremely disappointed with what Nick Heidfeld did at the end of Q1 on the last out lap. All the cars were bunching up on the second to last corner, as they jostled for position, but Nick suddenly passed me on the inside into the last corner, just as I was about to start my flying lap."
It was very unlikely he was going to do a better lap on prime tires and he was on the dirty side of the track, so he wouldn’t have done a faster lap by squeezing through the inside at that point—and he came in before the end of that lap anyway!"
"He would have known he was in the top ten already, so for me it was very unsportsmanlike behavior, as all he did was screw up my last flying lap—there wasn’t any intention of him doing a quicker time."
For full press conference please see the Formula One website.