David-Coulthard.png Coulthard.gif Full Name David Marshall Coulthard, MBE
Nationality British
Born 27 March 1971, Twynholm (GBR)
Died DD Month YYYY, City (NAT)
Website Official Website
Twitter @therealdcf1
Instagram
First Grand Prix 1994 Spanish Grand Prix Last Grand Prix 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix
Grands Prix 246 Non-starts 1
Wins 13 Podiums 62
Best Finish 1st (x13) Points 535
Fastest Laps 18 Pole Positions 12
Retirements 81 Laps Led 897

Career Highlights

1991 British F3 Championship, Paul Stewart Racing, 16 races, 5 wins, 8 podiums, 66 points, 2nd overall
Macau F3 and F3 Masters, Paul Stewart Racing, 1st overall
1992 International F3000, Paul Stewart Racing, 10 races, 2 podiums, 11 points, 9th overall
1993 International F3000, Pacific Racing, 9 races, 1 win, 4 podiums, 25 points, 3rd overall
Formula 1, Camel Williams Renault V10 FW15C, Test Driver
1994 Formula 1, Rothmans Williams Renault V10 FW16, 8 races, 1 podium, 14 points, 8th overall
1995 Formula 1, Rothmans Williams Renault V10 FW17, 17 races, 1 win, 8 podiums, 49 points, 3rd overall
1996 Formula 1, Marlboro McLaren Mercedes V10 MP4-11, 16 races, 2 podiums, 18 points, 7th overall
1997 Formula 1, West McLaren Mercedes V10 MP4-12, 17 races, 2 wins, 4 podiums, 36 points, 3rd overall
1998 Formula 1, West McLaren Mercedes V10 MP4-13, 16 races, 1 win, 9 podiums, 56 points, 3rd overall
1999 Formula 1, West McLaren Mercedes V10 MP4-14, 16 races, 2 wins, 6 podiums, 48 points, 4th overall
2000 Formula 1, West McLaren Mercedes V10 MP4-15, 17 races, 3 wins, 11 podiums, 73 points, 3rd overall
2001 Formula 1, West McLaren Mercedes V10 MP4-16, 17 races, 2 wins, 10 podiums, 65 points, 2nd overall
2002 Formula 1, West McLaren Mercedes V10 MP4-17, 17 races, 1 win, 6 podiums, 41 points, 5th overall
2003 Formula 1, West McLaren Mercedes V10 MP4-17D, 16 races, 1 win, 3 podiums, 51 points, 7th overall
2004 Formula 1, West McLaren Mercedes V10 MP4-19, 18 races, 24 points, 10th overall
2005 Formula 1, Red Bull Racing Cosworth V10 RB1, 19 races, 24 points, 12th overall
2006 Formula 1, Red Bull Racing Ferrari V8 RB2, 18 races, 1 podium, 14 points, 13th overall
2007 Formula 1, Red Bull Racing Renault V8 RB3, 17 races, 10 points, 14th overall
2008 Formula 1, Red Bull Racing Renault V8 RB4, 18 races, 1 podium, 8 points, 16th overall
2010 Awarded MBE for services to motorsport
  DTM, Mücke Motorsport Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse 2008, 11 races, 1 point, 16th overall
2011 DTM, Mücke Motorsport Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse 2008, 10 races, 1 point, 16th overall
2012 DTM, Mücke Motorsport Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse Coupé, 10 races, 14 points, 15th overall

 

David Coulthard, 1995 Argentine Grand Prix

Biography

The man affectionately nicknamed ‘DC’ competed in 246 Grands Prix between 1994 and 2008 for the likes of Williams, McLaren and Red Bull, achieving 13 wins, 62 podium finishes, 12 pole positions, 18 fastest laps and 535 championship points – a then-record for a British driver. He finished runner-up in the 2001 World Championship.

Born into a Scottish family that had made some wealth in the trucking industry, Coulthard hit the karting circuits at the age of eight, earning multiple championships before he moved into Formula Ford in late 1988.

After dominating both junior championships and finishing third in the annual Formula Ford Festival, he was signed by Paul Stewart Racing to compete in the Formula Vauxhall Lotus and GM Lotus EuroSeries championships. A championship frontrunner, his tilt ended when he broke his leg at Spa, but his efforts over the year still earned him the inaugural McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award and a McLaren F1 test.

In 1991, he moved into the British Formula 3 championship, and staged a season-long battle for the championship with Rubens Barrichello – a battle he would ultimately lose – but he did go on to win the Macau F3 race and Marlboro Masters.

He moved with Paul Stewart Racing into Formula 3000 in 1992, but the team wasn’t competitive and he only finished ninth in the series. He had another F1 test at the end of the year, this time with Benetton.

In 1993, he switched to the Pacific Racing F3000 team, and it proved the right move. He won at Enna and earned a succession of other points’ finishes to wind up third overall in the standings. He also signed a test contract with Williams and raced a Jaguar in the GT Class at the Le Mans 24 Hours, winning class honours although the car was subsequently disqualified.

His F1 debut in 1994 came about in the most tragic of circumstances, being brought into the Williams team in the wake of Ayrton Senna’s death. Despite having to share his seat with Nigel Mansell over the season, he impressed overall, peaking with third place in his final outing of the year at Portugal.

Signed full-time to the team for 1995, he claimed his maiden Grand Prix win – after several promising, but ultimately fruitless races beforehand – at Portugal, but elected to take up McLaren’s very substantial offer for the 1996 season and beyond.

Partnering Mika Hakkinen in what was to become one of the longest-standing driver pairings in the sport’s history, Coulthard was evenly-matched with his team-mate, although neither would win a race that season.

He went better in 1997, winning at Australia and Italy to finish ahead of Häkkinen in the Drivers’ Championship standings, but he relinquished victory to his team-mate at Jerez under instruction from the team, and then repeated the gesture at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix the following year.

His role as a diligent number-two was inadvertently cast, and he never shook that reputation for the rest of his career. Year in, year out, he and his loyal band of British supports (and the press) would hopefully claim that this would be the year where he would challenge for the championship, but he was never able to string enough performances together to mount a proper bid for the title.

His runner-up performance in 2001 was his best, but even then it came at the expense of a disinterested Häkkinen, who quit at the end of the year.

Despite picking up his last career win in 2003, changes to the qualifying regulations – an area in which ‘DC’ never really excelled – really hurt his prospects, and his race hopes were hampered by having to start much further down the field than he should have, usually giving him too much to do on race day.

In 2005, he was a last-minute signing to the new Red Bull Racing team (itself borne from the ashes of the Jaguar Racing outfit), and a himself-reborn Coulthard – now free of the stifling corporate structure of McLaren – could now stop dying his grey hairs and actually have a little bit of fun for the first time in years.

His form blossomed as the team’s number-one driver, and he enjoyed the mantle for two years until Mark Webber joined the squad in 2007. Again cast into the shadows, he plugged on until the end of the 2008 season before finally electing to step down as the team signed Sebastian Vettel in his place.

Still working as an advisor and brand ambassador for Red Bull, ‘DC’ also juggled these duties with a full-time ride in Mercedes’ DTM operation for the next three years. He opted to stop racing full-time at the end of 2012 to spend more time with his family and to focus his efforts on his ever-increasing role in the BBC’s F1 commentary line-up.

CLICK HERE to return to our driver profiles.

Share