F1: No, I really, really, honestly am retiring, says DC

By Andy Darley

CalendarWednesday, July 9th, 2008

 
 

Two Q&As with David Coulthard following the British Grand Prix have tied up the loose ends from the interviews he gave when he announced his retirement.

Talking to the Formula One website and AutoSport, he settled questions over who he thought should take over his Red Bull Racing seat and what he meant by saying he wasn’t hanging up his helmet.

And, of course, he reflected on the disappointment of retiring from his final home grand prix on the very first lap.

Coulthard’s ongoing relationship with Red Bull involves some testing and development work, so he expects to be in the car from time to time. But racing? Not so much.

He told AutoSport: “I have no intention of racing anything else. The only reason I said I haven’t hung up my helmet is because, in six months or one year, if there is an opportunity to race something that I think could be interesting, then everybody will say he is coming out of retirement.”

Race of Champions, anyone?

Not Le Mans, though – at least, not for a while: “I won it in 1993. I’m not thinking about it today, maybe in a year’s time I will think ‘wow I really want to do Le Mans’. But today I really want to do the test and then I really want to have a good race next week. Then I really want to enjoy all the races.

“To think about racing something else while I am still racing in F1 just seems ridiculous. I’ve told everyone my intentions for next year to stop the rumour, stop the speculation and allow the team to plan ahead. It was the right thing to do, but I’m not going MotoGP or truck racing or something.”

As for who the team might be planning to replace him with, his views are firmly in line with the conventional wisdom that Sebastian Vettel (shown with him at the Race of Champions in the video accompanying this story) is the best thing since sliced bread.

He told formulaone.com: “For me Sebastian Vettel has everything that a future winner in Formula One needs. Also his maturity and approach shows me that he is the best man for the job. So I am very confident that he would be able to do a very good job for Red Bull Racing.”

He admitted to feeling sad after Monaco that he wouldn’t be driving the famous circuit again, but he’ll be shedding no tears over his failure to win the F1 title: “I clearly had the opportunity of driving world championship-winning cars, but I never managed to hold the level of consistency needed to extract every last bit from them, even though I had the speed. And this is now something I just have to deal with for the rest of my life.”

And he was as impressed by Lewis Hamilton’s drive through the Silverstone rain as he was depressed by his failure to do the same: “It was sad that my last running on this track was over on lap one, but then again – that’s racing – the victory of nerve and flexibility over pure strategy.

“[Hamilton’s] drive on Sunday was remarkable. When you look at how difficult the conditions and how many problems other drivers had – he was just in the zone. For sure, one of the remarkable drives in the history of F1.”

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