|Born||27 March 1971|
Twynholm, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, UK
|Formula One World Championship career|
|Team(s)||Williams, McLaren, Red Bull Racing|
|First Grand Prix||1994 Spanish Grand Prix|
|Final Grand Prix||2008 Brazilian Grand Prix|
David Marshall Coulthard, MBE, (born 27 March 1971), sometimes known as DC, is a British former Formula One racing driver from Scotland. Coulthard, who was born in Dumfries and raised nearby in Twynholm, made his Formula One debut in 1994 and won 13 Grands Prix in a career spanning 15 seasons. Twice a winner in Monaco, Coulthard was team-mate to Mika Häkkinen in the Finn's two Drivers' Championship winning seasons for McLaren Mercedes before helping establish the Red Bull team. His best Drivers' Championship finish was second in 2001.
Coulthard began karting when his father presented him with his first kart for his eleventh birthday. Having won several local karting championships including the Scottish Junior Kart Championship and the Scottish Kart Championship, Coulthard participated in events further down the UK, including title victory in the Cumbria Kart Racing Club Championship in 1985. In 1989, Coulthard made the transition from karting to car racing by winning the British Formula Ford Championship and became the first recipient of the McLaren/Autosport Young Driver of the Year award, which allowed him to test a McLaren Formula One car.
For 1991, Coulthard signed with Paul Stewart Racing to compete in the British Formula 3 series, taking five victories and finishing second in the Championship behind Rubens Barrichello. Coulthard also won the Macau Grand Prix and the Masters of Formula Three. In 1992, he moved to the International Formula 3000 series, where he suffered from a lack of competitiveness and finished ninth in the championship. For 1993, Coulthard joined Pacific Racing, taking one victory and finishing third in the series.
Throughout 1993 and 1994, Coulthard was employed by Williams Grand Prix Engineering team as their official test driver. A race seat became available after the death of Ayrton Senna at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. Coulthard received a telephone call from team principal Frank Williams to test the Williams car at Jerez circuit over four days, causing him to miss a Formula 3000 race at Pau. Making his début in Spain, Coulthard qualified in eighth position, and was set to score a point before his engine failed 34 laps from the finish. He followed this up by scoring his first points with a fifth-place finish in Canada.
Williams dropped Coulthard for the following race in France, allowing 1992 Drivers' Champion Nigel Mansell to make a one-off appearance due to pressure from engine supplier Renault. The move strained the relationship between Williams and Coulthard who returned for the British Grand Prix, finishing fifth. He suffered back to back retirements in the next two races but secured three consecutive points scoring positions—including a podium finish with a second-place in Portugal. Mansell later returned to fill Coulthard's seat for the final three races of the season. Coulthard finished the season in eighth place with Williams second in the Constructors Championship. For his role, Coulthard was awarded ITV Young Sports Personality of the Year and received an award at the BBC Scottish Sports Personality of the Year.
In November, Coulthard became embroiled in a contract dispute. During the Australian Grand Prix, Coulthard chose to leave Williams and signed a contract with McLaren. Williams, however, insisted that they had the right to exercise their option to keep Coulthard, who was on a three-year contract with the team. Coulthard's management argued that the Williams option was not binding. The dispute went to Formula One's Contract Recognition Board, who ruled in favour of Williams on 14 December, forcing Coulthard to stay with the team.
In 1995, Coulthard again competed alongside Damon Hill. He was optimstic for the season, saying: "I'd like to think I can win a Grand Prix this year. That's really my aim, plus to score points in as many races as possible." Coulthard's season started off with controversy when he and Benetton driver Michael Schumacher were disqualified for fuel irregularities in the first round in Brazil, where Coulthard finished second. On appeal, the original results of both drivers were reinstated. The next five races saw four retirements for Coulthard, plus a fourth-place finish in San Marino.
Despite his poor form in the early part of the season, Coulthard secured four consecutive podiums, with a further two consecutive retirements in Belgium and Italy, where he secured his first pole position of his career. For Portugal, Williams introduced a revised version their car, the Williams FW17B. Coulthard took pole position and led a majority of the race to take his first Formula One race victory. He took a further two podiums at the Nürburgring and Aida and retired in the final two races at Suzuka and Adelaide. Coulthard finished the season third in the Drivers' Championship, helping Williams secure second place in the Constructors' Championship.
For 1996, Coulthard switched to the McLaren team partnering experienced driver Mika Häkkinen at McLaren. He believed there was a chance of winning races, though a challenge for the World Championship was unlikely until 1997 or 1998. His season started badly; he suffered a throttle issue in Australia, including a collision with Jordan driver Martin Brundle on the first lap. Coulthard spun off in Brazil and finished outside of the points in Argentina. However, Coulthard secured a podium at the Nürburgring before suffering a hydraulics failure in San Marino.
He followed the result with a second-place finish in the wet race at Monaco before suffering a first-lap accident in the wet race in Spain. Before the Canadian Grand Prix, Coulthard signed an extension to his contract that would keep him at McLaren until 1998. Coulthard secured points finishing positions in the next four races, before suffering three consecutive retirements. He rounded these results by finishing outside of the points-scoring positions in Portugal and Japan. Coulthard managed to secure seventh place in the Drivers' Championship and McLaren finished fifth in the Constructors' Championship.
In 1997, Coulthard again partnered Häkkinen at McLaren. He started his season by taking victory in the opening round in Australia. Coulthard was unable to score in the next four rounds, due to being involved in an collision in Argentina and contended with unreliability with his car. The factor of unreliability had an impact throughout the season, which became notable in Canada when Coulthard made a pit stop while leading and the car developed clutch problems. He suffered from four more retirements throughout the season, but was able to take victory at the Italian Grand Prix.
He was also able to secure two more podium positions in Austria and Jerez, where Coulthard conceded second place to team-mate Häkkinen under team orders. Coulthard managed to finish in third place in the Drivers' Championship, tied on points with Benetton driver Jean Alesi, with McLaren securing fourth in the Constructors' Championship.
In 1998, Coulthard remained at McLaren and continued to be parterned by Häkkinen. The season started controversially in Australia for the McLaren team when Coulthard, who was leading let Häkkinen past to win the race. Coulthard later revealed a pre-race agreement by the team that whoever led into the first corner on the first lap would be allowed to win the race. However, the race marked a run of consistent results, with Coulthard scoring three further podiums, including victory in San Marino. Coulthard retired from three out of the next four races, and followed this up by taking a further five podiums during the remainder of the season, along with a retirement in Italy.
His only finish outside of the points-scoring positions was in Belgium, finishing 7th, in a race where Coulthard lost control of his car, causing a multi-car collision and later in the race another collision with an unsighted Schumacher while being lapped by the Ferrari driver, who was forced to retire. Coulthard came third in the Drivers' Championship, behind Schumacher and Häkkinen, and helped McLaren clinch the Constructors' Championship. Coulthard was awarded the Hawthorn Memorial Trophy, an annual award given to the most successful British or Commonwealth driver in Formula One over the course of one season.
Coulthard stayed with McLaren, alongside Häkkinen for 1999. His season started with two consecutive retirements in Australia and Brazil caused by hydraulics and gearbox failures, respectively. Coulthard managed to clinch second place in San Marino before suffering from another gearbox issue at Monaco. He took his second podium of the year in Spain. Coulthard later finished outside of the points-scoring positions in Canada and retired with electrical problems in France.
Coulthard managed to secure sixth consecutive finishes inside of the points, starting with a victory in Britain followed later with another in Belgium and podium finishes in Austria and Hungary. His season was rounded by three consecutive retirements in the final rounds of the season. Overall, Coulthard finished in fourth place in the Drivers' Championship, six points behind Jordan driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen, and helped McLaren take second place in the Constructors' Championship.
For 2000, Coulthard reorganised his schedule for the season, concentrating on his performances and spending less time working on promotional campaigns. Many motorsport critics labelled 2000 as Coulthard's "make or break" year. The first rounds of the season proved difficult for Coulthard; In the opening round in Australia, he retired with engine problems, and finished second in Brazil, before being disqualified as the front wing endplates on his car were 7mm lower than the required 50mm above the reference plane. Coulthard overcame these setbacks and finished on the podium in the next five races, which included victories in Britain and Monaco.
In June, Coulthard signed an extension to his contract, confirming he would remain at McLaren for 2001. A non-points scoring finish in Canada, followed a victory in France which he later described as the most memorable of his career. A hat-trick of podiums followed in the next three rounds and a fourth-place finish in Belgium. Coulthard also scored points in the final three rounds, including podiums in Japan and Malaysia. Coulthard finished third in the Drivers' Championship, with 73 points, and McLaren finished second in the Constructors' Champions. For his efforts during the season, Coulthard was awarded his second Hawthorn Memorial Trophy.
McLaren team principal Ron Dennis was ambitious about Coulthard's prospects for the new season, saying: "David is extremely fired up. He's strong and wants to test as much as possible. I honestly feel that David can win the world championship this year." Coulthard performed well in the first seven races, scoring forty points, including victories in Brazil and Austria. In Canada, he suffered his first retirement of the season when his car developed engine problems while running in fourth position. Coulthard followed his non-finish with a podium at the Nürburgring and by finishing fourth in France.
The remaining seven races saw Coulthard retire on three more occasions and achieved four more podium positions—in Hungary, Belgium, the United States and Japan. Overall, Coulthard secured a career best second place in the Drivers' Championship, 58 points behind World Champion Michael Schumacher, and McLaren finished second in the Constructors' Championship. As a result, Coulthard was awarded with his second consecutive Hawthorn Memorial Trophy.
The 2002 season was the first in which Coulthard was the more experienced driver in his team, his new team-mate being the Fin Kimi Räikkönen. He endured a torrid start: Coulthard's car suffered from gearbox issues and retired after 35 laps at the opener in Australia; and in the following race in Malaysia, both cars retired from engine failure after 24 laps. Two weeks later in the Brazilian Grand Prix, Coulthard secured his first podium of the season with a third-place finish. Coulthard then managed to take four consecutive finishes inside of the points; this included his only victory of the season in Monaco.
At the Canadian Grand Prix, Coulthard took his second consecutive podium by finishing second. He retired from the next race at the Nürburgring due to a collision with Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya. This marked a turning point as Coulthard managed to finish five out of the next eight races in the points with one non-finish at the final round of the season in Japan. Coulthard finished the season fifth in the Drivers' Championship, with 41 points, and McLaren finished third in the Constructors' Championship.
Coulthard was again partnered at McLaren by Räikkönen for 2003. For this season the FIA introduced the single-lap qualifying format. Since his Formula Three days, Coulthard had the reputation of being a poor qualifier. He openly admitted that he did not like the format and was a vocal opponent of it.
Coulthard began the season by taking victory in Australia and retired in Malaysia when his car developed an electrical problem. He managed to take back-to back points in Brazil and San Marino followed by a retirement from a collision in Spain. In August, Coulthard signed an extension to his contract that would keep him at McLaren until 2004. Coulthard was able to secure two more podium positions in Germany and Japan. Coulthard finished seventh in the Drivers' Championship, scoring 51 points, and helped McLaren clinch third in the Constructors' Championship. After the season's conclusion, McLaren announced that Coulthard would be dropped at the end of 2004 and replaced by Juan Pablo Montoya.
Despite losing his seat at McLaren for 2005, Coulthard insisted he had his team's backing, and made a pledge that his approach for 2004 would be more aggressive. He managed to finish eighth in the first race in Australia despite being off the pace, and in the following race in Malaysia, he managed to take sixth position. During the race in Bahrain, both McLaren drivers were forced into retirement due to engine failures after fifty laps. Coulthard did not score in the next four races, which included consecutive retirements in Monaco and at the Nürburgring. He was able to take points scoring positions at the next two races in Canada and the United States.
McLaren introduced a revised version of their car the McLaren MP4-19B in France. The change of car improved reliability and results, helping Coulthard to achieve sixth place during the Grand Prix, and secure further points in the races in Britain and the Hockenheimring. Coulthard managed to achieve points in Belgium and Italy, only suffering from one further non-finish from a collision with Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello in Japan. Overall, Coulthard finished tenth in the Drivers' Championship, equal on points with Ralf Schumacher, and McLaren finished fifth in the Constructors' Championship.
Red Bull Racing were attracted by Coulthard's experience and signed him for their debut in the 2005 Formula One season. He was teamed with the inexperienced Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi. Coulthard's season started with finishes in the points-scoring positions in the opening five rounds. The forced withdrawal of all teams using Michelin tyres, including Red Bull, at the controversial United States Grand Prix, meant Coulthard did not start a race for the first time in his career.
In July, it was announced that Coulthard would remain at Red Bull for 2006. This marked a turning point in his season as Coulthard did not score points in six of the nine remaining races. He achieved points three times during this period—in Germany, Turkey and Japan. He finished the season in twelfth place with Red Bull seventh in the Constructors' Championship.
Coulthard stayed with Red Bull in 2006, and continued to be partnered by Klien. Coulthard started his season with a retirement in Bahrain and finished tenth in the following race in Malaysia. The next three races saw Coulthard finish outside of the points-scoring positions with consecutive retirements at San Marino and the Nürburgring. Coulthard secured Red Bull Racing's first podium position by finishing 3rd in Monaco. He managed to finish in the next ten races he entered which included finishing in the points in Canada, the United States and Hungary.
In August, it was announced that Coulthard had extended his contract with Red Bull for 2007 and would be partnered by Williams driver Mark Webber. Coulthard finished the season by finishing 13th in the Drivers' Championship, with 14 points, and Red Bull finished seventh in the Constructors' Championship.
Coulthard continued as a driver at Red Bull in 2007, partnered by Webber. Coulthard endured a torrid start: he retired in Australia following a collision with Williams driver Alexander Wurz, and in the following race in Malaysia, he retired with brake problems. In Bahrain, Coulthard ran in eighth position before his car developed driveshaft problems and was forced to retire. He was able to score his first points of the season by taking fifth position in Spain.
Coulthard finished outside of the points at Monaco, followed by consecutive retirements in Canada and the United States, before he secured fifth position in the European Grand Prix. In July, it was announced that Coulthard would remain with Red Bull in 2008. For the last seven races of the year he managed to finish only twice in the points, along with two retirements. Coulthard secured tenth position in the Drivers' Championship, with 14 points, and helped Red Bull secure fifth place in the Constructors' Championship.
Coulthard started 2008 with a retirement after colliding with Ferrari driver Felipe Massa. In Malaysia Coulthard's suffered from a suspension failure on his car during practice which resulted in Red Bull placed under investigation for car safety. Coulthard was later cleared to race, and managed to secure 9th. He was unable to score points until Canada, when he finished on the podium in 3rd, the 62nd podium finish of his Formula One career.
On the Thursday before the 2008 British Grand Prix, Coulthard announced that he would retire at the end of the season, but would remain at Red Bull as a consultant. He retired on lap 1 after colliding with Sebastian Vettel, the driver that would replace at Red Bull in 2009. Over the next five races, Coulthard was able to finish, albeit outside of the points-scoring positions. He took the final points of his career with seventh place in Singapore. For Coulthard's final race, he competed in a car with a one-off livery promoting the charity "Wings for Life". In the event, Coulthard retired in the second corner on the first lap after he was hit from behind by Nico Rosberg's Williams. In his final website blog before the race, Coulthard said, "I was thinking of asking the drivers to keep well clear of me into turn 1 to give me a better chance of finishing my last GP but I know all too well that when the lights go out racing instincts take over."
Coulthard's last season in Formula One was filled with frequent crashes. By his own admission, his poor qualifying performances put him in the middle of the pack where bumps and scrapes are commonplace. After scoring only 8 points in his final season, Coulthard remained characteristically appreciative of what F1 had given him over the last 15 years.
On 25 November 2008, it was announced that Coulthard would join the BBC as a pundit alongside Jake Humphrey and Eddie Jordan for the broadcaster's coverage of Formula One. With the departure of commentator Jonathan Legard at the end of 2010, Coulthard was announced as a co-commentator alongside Brundle, after undergoing successful screen tests.
On 4 April 2010, Coulthard announced a return to motor racing when he secured a contract to drive for Mücke Motorsport in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters series. He competed in the series for three years, finishing no higher than fifteenth in the championship, amassing a total of 16 points and two fastest laps. During 2012 Coulthard announced his retirement from motor racing, citing the reason to spend more time with his family and to concentrate on his co-commentary role with the BBC, as well as managing his off-track businesses.
Coulthard's helmet design is blue and consists of a white saltire on the top which resembles the flag of Scotland and the four tips are trepassed from the top of the chin area.
Coulthard borrowed a helmet belonging to Michael Schumacher for the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix as his regular helmet was suffering from steaming up during the weekend. Upon Schumacher's first retirement in 2006, he suggested to Coulthard that he would swap one of his own helmets for one of Coulthard's, which was agreed by Coulthard.
For the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix, he changed his design to grey with a stylised saltire on the sides of his helmet, as an homage to the late World Rally Champion Colin McRae.
Complete Formula One ResultsEdit
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)