Coulthard announces F1 retirement
David Coulthard will retire from Formula One after the season, ending a career in which he won 13 races but repeatedly fell short of the world championship.
SILVERSTONE, England: David Coulthard will retire from Formula One after the season, ending a career in which he won 13 races but repeatedly fell short of the world championship.
The 37-year-old Scotsman, who has driven for Williams, McLaren and Red Bull since 1994, has not won since the 2003 Australian Grand Prix. His best result this season was third at the Canadian GP on June 9.
Coulthard made his announcement at Silverstone on Thursday, three days ahead of the British GP. He was the last driver to win the race back-to-back for McLaren in 1999 and 2000, but much of his career coincided with the dominance of Michael Schumacher, who won seven world championships for Benetton and Ferrari.
“After 15 years I’m not going to battle for a world championship,” said Coulthard, whose best finish in the drivers championship was second to Schumacher in 2001 to go with five third-place finishes. “I’m unlikely to win another GP unless something remarkable happens this year. I did have a world championship-winning car. I just didn’t win it.”
Coulthard moved from testing to be a front-line driver for Williams after Ayrton Senna’s death at the San Marino GP in Imola in 1994, and he won his first F1 race in Portugal in 1995. He went on to finish third that season but he won his other 12 F1 races for McLaren during a nine-year spell with the team.
He moved to Red Bull in 2005 but is yet to win a race or achieve a pole position with the team. His best so far were third places at Monaco in 2006 and at Montreal a month ago.
“My decision to retire was taken earlier in the year and is based on a desire to stop while I am still competitive and enjoying the immense challenge that Grand Prix driving represents. I also have the desire to look for new challenges within the sport,” Coulthard said.
Coulthard said he will continue working as a consultant with Red Bull, focusing on testing and development of cars.
“I have an open mind as to whether or not I will compete again in the future in some other form of motor sport,” he said. “So I am definitely not hanging up my helmet.”