The gathering rumours that David Coulthard’s season – and F1 career – might end after Monza seem to have been scotched in the most congenial of ways with what Red Bull describe as the “first of many” farewell parties.
The veteran Scot has enjoyed an Indian Summer to his career since joining Red Bull from McLaren – and the team marked the end of the European season by opening up its Energy Station motorhome for a celebration of his 13 years at the top level of motorsport.
The team said: “The whole paddock was invited and judging by the crush, it seemed as though most of them turned up. Nice to see nearly all the drivers and a few team bosses turn up for what will no doubt be the first of many farewells for the most experienced driver on the grid.”
And the official Formula One website added: “After this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, Coulthard will race at a further four events, but it was his plans beyond the season finale in Brazil that dominated the conversation at the party.”
Apparently, there was a whisper running around that he might be back with a media pass around his neck. At any rate, if anyone was expecting Monza to be his last race, no word of that speculation hit the reports of the event.
Pride of place at the party – aside from the man himself – went to an exhibition of 39 large-size photos of Coulthard taken by leading F1 photographers at various stages of his career, including race wins and portraits.
Coulthard told the gathering: “I have had a fantastic life over the years and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss one single second if it. And I feel honoured that so many of you came here today to see what I did over the years.”
Pitlane rivals to make an appearance included fellow old stagers Rubens Barrichello, Giancarlo Fisichella and Jarno Trulli, along with Kazuki Nakajima, Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld from the younger generation.
Red Bull will be running a competition to win some of the photos, autographed by Coulthard. Details should appear on their website at www.redbullracing.com on Sunday.