JANUARY 16, 2004
Coulthard waits on Raikkonen option
David Coulthard is not counting on being at McLaren in 2005, the team having already signed up Juan Pablo Montoya from Williams. But officially at least DC is not out of work until McLaren takes up its option to continue with Kimi Raikkonen. This would bring to an end David's nine-year relationship with McLaren, unless he decided to stay on to be a test driver, which is not very likely.
Raikkonen is under a long-term contract to McLaren and the only place he might consider moving to is Williams, which needs at least one driver and possibly two in 2005. Raikkonen is hoping that McLaren and Mercedes can get their act together and take him to the World Championship and a switch to Williams would require a year of getting used to a new team.
There are several options for Coulthard in the future and it would not be a surprise to see him moving to Toyota next year, although there is still talk that the drive will go to Ralf Schumacher. The German wants to stay at Williams but will have to bring down his financial demands if a deal is to be struck. The Grove team has made it very clear that it is not going to pay Ralf what he thinks he is worth and if he wishes to remain in the team he will need to reconsider.
Coulthard is still a very strong racer in 2004 he suffered badly from one-lap qualifying - a system he hates - which meant that he spent too much time in races overtaking those ahead of him on the grid.
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