Coulthard or Barrichello for BAR-Honda

David Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello are fighting it out to get the number one drive at BAR-Honda in 2006. The team says that it is trying to do as well as possible this year and will then see what happens but it is very clear that Jenson Button's contract details will allow the Englishman to move to Williams next season, indeed it may mandate him to do so. In that case the team needs a new leader for next year and while there is an argument that says that it might be an idea to promote test driver Anthony Davidson to the role, there is also a school of thought that believes that what is needed most of all is a proven winner with loads of experience in F1. David Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello are the two men who best fit the bill. David is having a good year with Red Bull and is flourishing outside the constraints of McLaren while Barrichello has been playing second fiddle to Michael Schumacher and appeasr to be getting rather bored on the job. Red Bull Racing sources say that they would like to keep Coulthard next season but they do accept that the team has a surfeit of drivers at the moment with DC, Christian Klien, Tonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed all in the running for the ride next year. Coulthard is currently playing the role of the wise old man in the team and the value of that may result in an offer to stay again in 2006 but at the same time Coulthard needs to decide whether he thinks a BAR-Honda is a better bet than a Red Bull-Ferrari. Tyres are obviously an issue with Red Bull tipped to be planning a switch to Bridgestone. It is worth noting that Coulthard and BAR Sporting Director Gil de Ferran are old friends from many years back and were team mates in their earlier careers and have a great deal of mutual respect. Barrichello has many of the same virtues as Coulthard and it helps that he is a South American as British American Tobacco is keen on having a Latin driver in the team, even if tobacco advertising will all but disappear from F1 by the end of the year.

Nothing is yet decided but the permutations are certainly interesting. Perhaps Coulthard will move to BAR and Barrichello to Red Bull.

Follow grandprixdotcom on Twitter

Print News Story