David Marshall Coulthard
|Date of Birth: ||1971-03-27|
Place of Birth:
|Hobbies:||Motor racing, cinema, golf, swimming|
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|Grand Prix starts:||246|
|First Race:||29 May 1994 Catalunya, Williams |
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|2008||Red Bull Racing, 16th, 8 points|
|2007 ||Red Bull Racing, 10th, 14 points|
|2006||Red Bull Racing, 13th, 14 points|
|2005||Red Bull Racing, 12th, 24 points|
|2004||West McLaren Mercedes, 10th|
|2003 ||West McLaren Mercedes, 7th, 51 points|
|2002 ||West McLaren Mercedes, 5th, 41 points|
|2001 ||West McLaren Mercedes, 2nd, 65 points|
|2000||West McLaren Mercedes, 3rd, 73 points|
|1999||West McLaren Mercedes, 4th, 48 points|
|1998 ||West McLaren Mercedes, 3rd, 56 points|
|1997 ||West McLaren Mercedes, 3rd, 36 points|
|1996 ||Marlboro McLaren Mercedes, 7th, 18 points|
|1995 ||Rothmans Williams Renault, 3rd, 49 points|
|1994 ||Rothmans Williams Renault, 8th, 14 points|
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David Marshall Coulthard (born March 27, 1971 in Twynholm, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland), is a Scottish Formula One racing driver for Red Bull Racing. He has been one of the most successful drivers in the current era of the sport with 13 grand prix victories. By virtue of a long career, much of it spent in top teams, he has amassed a large points haul, and lies fourth on the all-time scorers list, being the top British scorer.
Coulthard began karting at an early age, graduating to Formula Ford in 1989. His performance was so impressive that he won the first ever McLaren/Autosport Young Driver of the Year award. In 1990, he suffered a broken leg at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, yet still came back the following year to win Formula 3 races at Zandvoort, Netherlands and Macau, China. In 1992, he raced in the Formula 3000 series, finishing ninth, and in 1993 he improved to third overall.
In 1993, Coulthard became test driver for the world champions Williams Renault and played an important role in advancing the car's technology. For 1994 he stayed with Williams as tester, but following Senna's tragic death at Imola, was promoted to the race team alongside Damon Hill for Barcelona. He spent much of the season driving the second car, but had to step aside for ex-champion Nigel Mansell on four occasions. Renault were keen to have a big name in the second Williams, and Mansell, at that time reigning Indycar champion, fitted the bill. Coulthard showed flashes of speed, but errors and bad luck saw him take just one podium, a second at Estoril. For the last three races he had to sit back and watch Mansell take his place, but it was he, and not Nigel, who would race for Williams full-time in 1995.
The season saw him demonstrate his undoubted pace, but he only won one race, the Portuguese Grand Prix. There were other races where he could have won, but poor luck and mistakes once more cost him. He did score five pole positions however, four of them consecutively. Some unforced errors tarnished his season however: at Monza he spun off on the formation lap, whilst in Adelaide he crashed coming into the pits.
In 1996, Coulthard contracted with McLaren to drive alongside future champion Mika Häkkinen. His first season with McLaren was unremarkable, as the Mercedes-powered team struggled to find speed. He led at Imola and lost out to an inspired Olivier Panis at Monaco. In 1997, in his second year with McLaren, he finished the drivers championship tied with Jean Alesi for third place (after the disqualification of Michael Schumacher). He had taken two wins and could have added more, but for problems. At Jerez he was on course to win after Villeneuve moved over, but McLaren ordered him to surrender the win to Hakkinen. In 1998, the McLaren was consistently the fastest car on track, but it was Hakkinen who made the most of it, winning the title. Coulthard took just one win and spent most of the year in a supporting role.
In 1999, a combination of under-performance and bad luck saw him finish the season in fourth place, as McLaren lost the constructor title to Ferrari. Hakkinen had become champion, whilst Coulthard won twice. In 2000, he was involved in a tight battle for the drivers championship with Schumacher and Häkkinen, but eventually fell out of contention into a disappointing third place finish. In 2001 he finished the year in second place, but with barely half the points (65) tallied by runaway winner Schumacher (123).
Coulthard's subsequent years at McLaren, from 2002 through 2004, were disappointing as well, as he was regularly out-paced by younger teammate Kimi Räikkönen. Many of Coulthard's critics argue that his decline began in 2003, when the FIA introduced the single-lap qualifying format, causing David to freeze up (i.e. develop stage-fright) during his hot lap. He openly admitted that he did not like the format and was a vocal opponent of the format. With the announcement that Juan Pablo Montoya was to join McLaren in 2005 alongside Räikkönen, 2004 was to be Coulthard's last year with the team. A poor ninth place finish in the final 2004 standings (24 points, equal with the injured Ralf Schumacher) hadn't helped Coulthard's cause for 2005 either.
Signed by Red Bull Racing for 2005, the team were attracted by Coulthard's experience. He was teamed with the inexperienced Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi. Coulthard's contract at Red Bull Racing was also extended prior to the 2005 British Grand Prix, to prolong Coulthard's Formula One career to at least the end of 2006. David's stint at Red Bull was a renewal for the Scottish driver scoring points in many races and becoming one of the more outspoken and media savvy drivers. His sixth place position in the 2005 Japanese GP, ahead of his old rival Michael Schumacher, is representative of how he is able to drive the wheels off an inferior car.
For 2006, he continues at Red Bull, partnered with Christian Klien.
From 2006, Red Bull Racing will be powered by Ferrari engines, and technical director Adrian Newey will join the team. These positive developments have led Coulthard to state that he wishes to remain with the team after the 2006 season, and to add to his victory tally with them.
Among active F1 drivers, Coulthard has the second most wins (13) behind Schumacher. Coulthard is the highest-scoring British driver ever with 500 points (as of the 2006 Australian Grand Prix), beating Nigel Mansell's previous record of 482 points. He also became the 8th member of Formula One's "200 Club", joining Riccardo Patrese, Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Gerhard Berger, Andrea de Cesaris, Nelson Piquet and Jean Alesi in the list of drivers to have competed in 200 Grands Prix. Coulthard did this, at the 2006 Spanish Grand Prix on May 14, 2006. In the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix, David Coulthard scored his first podium finish with Red Bull Racing, his best result with the team and also the teams first podium finish. During the trophy presentation, Coulthard wore a red cape as the team was promoting the upcoming film "Superman Returns."
Coulthard has resided for some time in the tax haven principality of Monaco, and also owns home in London and Switzerland. He owns several luxury hotels in Britain and Monaco, including the Columbus, which is located in Monaco's Fontvieille. There has been speculation that Coulthard will retire soon, however he has denied those reports.
Coulthard, along with his personal trainer and then-fiancÃ©e Heidi Wichlinski, escaped death in a May, 2000 plane crash. The Learjet in which they were travelling developed engine trouble, and crashed while attempting to land at Lyon-Salotas airport near Lyon, France. While Coulthard luckily received only minor injuries, the front of the aircraft disintegrated upon impact, killing both pilots.
Coulthard has a tabloid chequered history in his personal relationships: according to tabloid reports, he has been associated with a number of women. However, in a BBC interview, Coulthard vigorously denied these claims, stating that the tabloid reports were "out of date and inaccurate." He has been associated with a string of gorgeous women, including supermodel Heidi Klum, Lady Victoria Hervey, and models Andrea Murray and Ruth Taylor. He has been engaged to models Heidi Wichlinski and Simone Abdelnour . He is now dating French F1 correspondant, Karen Minier
Podiums and wins
1994: Estoril 2nd
1995: Interlagos 2nd, Magny Cours 3rd, Silverstone 3rd, Hockenheim 2nd, Hungaroring 2nd, Estoril 1st, Aida 2nd, Nürburgring 3rd
1996: Nürburgring 3rd, Monte Carlo 2nd
1997: Melbourne 1st, Monza 1st, A1 Ring 2nd, Jerez 2nd
1998: Melbourne 2nd, Interlagos 2nd, Imola 1st, Catalunya 2nd, A1 Ring 2nd, Hockenheim 2nd, Hungaroring 2nd, Nürburgring 3rd, Suzuka 3rd
1999: Imola 2nd, Catalunya 2nd, Silverstone 1st, A1 Ring 2nd, Hungaroring 2nd, Spa 1st
2000: Imola 3rd, Silverstone 1st, Catalunya 2nd, Nürburgring 3rd, Monte Carlo 1st, Magny Cours 1st, A1 Ring 2nd, Hockenheim 3rd, Hungaroring 3rd, Suzuka 3rd, Sepang 2nd
2001: Melbourne 2nd, Sepang 3rd, Interlagos 1st, Imola 2nd, A1 Ring 1st, Nürburgring 3rd, Hungaroring 3rd, Spa 2nd, Indianapolis 3rd, Suzuka 3rd
2002: Interlagos 3rd, Catalunya 3rd, Monte Carlo 1st, Montreal 2nd, Magny Cours 3rd, Indianapolis 3rd
2003: Melbourne 1st, Hockenheim 2nd, Suzuka 3rd
2006: 3rd Monaco
Racing is in my blood, says Coulthard
"Some people like fishing, or collecting something special, or wine-tasting, and it is a passion for them and they do it because they love it. Well, that is how it is for me and Formula One motor racing."
At the advanced age (for a Grand Prix racing driver) of 36, and after 228 Grands Prix, including his victories in 1997 and 2003, Coulthard has faced a series of questions about his age, his fitness and his motivation as he carries on racing into the 2008 season.
He has answered them, he believes, on the track and off it with his points-gathering performances for Red Bull and a settled private life that has prolonged his already-long career at the top.
"Am I fit? Yes, I am fit. I may not be young anymore, but I know I am fit. And I can drive fast and I can deliver results. I have been the team's top points scorer these past few seasons. That speaks for itself, doesn't it?