On 18th October 2012, David Coulthard announced his retirement from racing, and competed in his last race in the DTM at Hockenheim. This week’s Scrutineering takes a look back on the Scot’s racing career as well as including some fan views and thoughts!
Pre Formula One (1989 – 1993)
Having started racing in Karts, Coulthard moved to single seaters for 1989 where he raced in the Formula Ford Championship. It was that year that he became the first ever McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year award, winning a test drive with the McLaren Formula One team. In 1990 he broke his leg during the season, but also competed in a round of the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch, partnering touring car champion, and fellow Scot, John Cleland at Vauxhall Motorsport. In 1991 Coulthard returned to single seaters for Paul Stewart Racing in the British Formula Three championship, where he fought hard and eventually lost to future F1 driver Rubens Barrichello. In 1992 he took part in the International Formula 3000 series where he finished ninth, with Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer winning. For the 1993 season he raced with Pacific Racing and finished third overall. That year he also became a test driver for the Williams F1 team. In 1994 he took part in one International Formula 3000 race.
Formula One (1994 – 2009)
Williams 1994 – 1995
After becoming a test driver for Williams in 1993, Coulthard was promoted to a race seat for eight races in 1994 after the death of Ayrton Senna. His best finish was second at the Portuguese GP and he finished eighth overall in the championship. He was retained for 1995 and during that season Coulthard took seven podiums and his maiden victory when he moved up a step on the Portuguese GP podium. He finished third overall to team-mate Damon Hill and champion Michael Schumacher.
McLaren 1996 – 2004
Only Michael Schumacher has driven more races for any one team in Formula One, although Felipe Massa is hot on Coulthard’s heels. During his nine seasons with McLaren he competed in 150 races, took 51 podiums as well as twelve wins, the last of these at the 2003 Australian GP, which proved to be his last F1 victory. He finished third in the championship three times and came second to Schumacher and convincingly outscored Mika Hakkinen, his team-mate who he had supported in the previous championships.
Red Bull 2005 – 2009
Coulthard moved to Red Bull in 2005 and it was here he ended his Formula One career. He took the team’s first ever podium at the 2006 Monaco GP, before repeating the feat three years later at the Canadian GP in 2009. He announced his retirement from the sport around the British GP that year, after sixteen years racing.
F1 career statistics
Fastest Laps: 18
Points Finishes: 121
DTM (2010 – 2012)
In 2010 Coulthard moved to DTM to race for Mücke Motorsport where he raced against the likes of Gary Paffett and Paul di Resta.
What the fans say and like!
- He was awarded an MBE 2010
- His museum – visited it years ago, it was great!
- His “nipple” moment with Louise Goodman
- His outburst about Felipe Massa when they collided in Australia (not suitable for repeating but you can listen here)
- His autobiography is a good read
- He makes a great addition to the BBC F1 team – bringing his knowledge of recent F1 racing to his commentating and punditry
- The fact he raced with a saltire on his helmet
- He has appeared in the Race of Champions six times and will be appearing again this year – great news!
- When he got the Monaco podium for Red Bull he wore a superman cape on the podium – cool!
- The fact he drove so many races for McLaren and has driven for other top teams Williams and Red Bull