BRITAIN'S Stirling Moss, one of the greatest drivers never to win the Formula One world championship, fears his compatriot David Coulthard may be destined to suffer a similar fate.

"I'm afraid I don't think he will be champion," the 73-year-old said after speaking at a press briefing to boost next month's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, a race Coulthard won in 1999 and 2000. "I think David is a really good driver but I don't think he's a great," said Moss.

"And I think that in Kimi (Raikkonen) and (Fernando) Alonso you see two guys who are potentially going to be really great," he added. McLaren's Coulthard, overall runner-up in 2001, won the opening race of the season in Australia, but after the Canadian Grand Prix was seventh in the drivers' standings, 29 points behind Ferrari's world champion Michael Schumacher.

His teammate Raikkonen, who had led until Canada, is three points adrift of the German. Spaniard Alonso is third for Renault.

Moss, championship runner-up three times to Argentina's Juan Manuel Fangio and once to Britain's Mike Hawthorn between 1955 and 1958, won 16 races and by the early 1960s was the highest-earning driver of his day. He said Coulthard could get back in the championship frame but the bigger question was whether he could beat Raikkonen.

"I must say I wouldn't like to be in David's position," he said. "It's really difficult to have a young bloke like that (alongside) who is good. Kimi is a young guy and he really goes, let's face it. I think David is very good, he'd be an excellent world champion. He's got the right look about him and everything else but I don't know whether he's got the speed that Kimi's got," said Moss.