JULY 3, 2008
Coulthard to retire
David Coulthard has announced his retirement from Formula 1 at the end of the season. The news is not a surprise. The 37-year-old Scot has been racing in Formula 1 since 1994 when he stepped into the limelight after Ayrton Senna was killed. Only an ignition problem stopped Coulthard from finishing third in his first Grand Prix at Barcelona. David became a fulltime Williams driver in 1995 but then moved to McLaren for 1996 where he remained until the end of 2005. He then moved to Red Bull Racing where he has been ever since. Coulthard says he will remain as a consultant to Red Bull Racing focusing on testing and development of the cars.
"I have an open mind as to whether or not I will compete again in the future, in some other form of motorsport, so I am definitely not hanging up my helmet! My decision to retire was taken earlier in the year and is based on a desire to stop while I am still competitive and enjoying the immense challenge that Grand Prix driving represents. I also have the desire to look for new challenges within the sport."
Coulthard won 13 Grand Prix victories in his career.
In the announcement DC listed the people he wanted to thank for help during his career:
His parents ("whose energy and encouragement through my entire career has been amazing"); Dave Boyce who guided me through Karting, David Leslie Sr and Jr "for teaching me how to set up and race a car; Sir Jackie and Paul Stewart "for putting me through their staircase of talent"; Sir Frank Williams and Williams Renault "for having the faith to promote me from test driver to race driver, which lead to my first GP victory"; Ron Dennis and the McLaren team "where I spent nine seasons and achieved the majority of
my success"; Norbert Haug and Mercedes "for being racers through and through"; Dietrich Mateschitz and his Red Bull Racing team "for providing me with the chance to contribute to the development of a new team, while continuing to compete and add to my tally of podiums"; Christian Horner "for his open and professional management style in association with Helmut Marko" and Bernie Ecclestone "for providing such a strong platform for us all to develop our skills and be able to call ourselves professionals. In years to come, my future family will still be thanking him for the financial success of F1".
He added special thanks to Adrian Newey, who worked with him in all three teams who "deserves special thanks for all the champagne that I have sprayed".