Throughout a career that lasted over 14 years and 247 races, British Formula One Driver David Coulthard was one of the sport’s most popular drivers. Although perhaps not as successful as other British drivers in terms of world championship titles, Coulthard claimed over 500 championship points during his career – more than any other British driver. He also worked with many constructor teams and his knowledge of the sport helped each one develop their cars and strategies to meet the demands of the modern sport.
In 1993, David Coulthard has hired as a test driver for the Williams-Renault team. For more than a year he worked with the constructors to help them develop their cars and played an important role in advancing their technology. After the tragic death of Williams’ driver Ayrton Senna in 1994, Coulthard was soon promoted to the race team alongside fellow Brit Damon Hill. It was during these formative years with Williams that Coulthard built his reputation as a talented young driver, a reputation that would soon catch the attention of constructor heavyweights McLaren.
In 1996, after three years working with Williams-Renault, Coulthard signed a contract with McLaren where he would drive alongside future world champion Mika Hakkinen. Although normally considered to be one of the most competitive teams, McLaren were currently on a three season run without a single Grand Prix victory. This was to change when, in the opening race of the 1997 season in Australia, Coulthard finished in pole. However, with the emergence of Michael Schumacher and McLaren’s desire to see Hakkinen maintain a challenge for the driver’s championship, Coulthard’s role with the McLaren was largely a supporting one.
After seeing career high finishes of 4th, 3rd and 2nd between 2001 and 2004, Coulthard left McLaren to team up with the newly formed Red Bull team in 2005. Bringing with him his knowledge and experience, Coulthard helped Red Bull and their young drivers establish themselves in the Formula One hierarchy. Although never reaching the same heights as he did with McLaren, Coulthard helped Red Bull develop their technology and it was his experience and advice that helped paved the way for current world champion Sebastian Vettel’s success.
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