David Coulthard to retire from Formula 1 at the end of this season

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David Coulthard, Silverstone, test, 2008, 470150

David Coulthard has announced his decision to retire from F1 at the end of 2008. This weekend’s British Grand prix will be his last.

You can read his statement in full here.

David Coulthard: the driver debates
David Coulthard biography

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 33 comments on “David Coulthard to retire from Formula 1 at the end of this season”

    1. I was hoping for one more season from DC.
      I just thought that the new rules in ’09 would give Red Bull and DC a chance. Oh well, I wonder if he has something lined up that he’s keeping quiet about?

    2. Well, I think that Christian Horner pretty much hit the nail on the head – a gentleman, a consummate professional and a fine racing driver who, on his day, was capable of beating the very best.

      DC has had an immensely successful career and he’s carried it all off in a dignified and stylish way. I hope that he races strongly in these final races and I think he’ll be missed.

      Of course, the next question is, who will fill that vacant Red Bull? The merry-go-round keeps on turning.

    3. Pedro Andrade
      3rd July 2008, 15:41

      Vettel will probably fill the vacancy.

    4. I respect DC decision. He raced for the best and competed against the best. I would of thought that he would be part of the new BBC f1 team next year. He’ll be missed and i have certainly enjoyed watching him in the past 13 years.

    5. I liked this guy a lot, and fulled supported him on his battle against Mika, Michael and all that stuff. He is a lucky boy, an aerial accident survival. The races after that accident were really wonderful to see, David seemed to believe that he was inmortal, and raced like never did after that.

      Respect to a truly racer from a fan.

    6. So, Keith, he did it.

      I always liked David and his “open mouth” way of life, a truly rare spirit in nowadays. His “middle finger” to Michael was something that some guys always want to do and just David to do it for ourselves…

      Thanks David!

      We will miss him…

    7. About time.

      I’ll miss his excuses.

    8. Robert Mckay
      3rd July 2008, 16:40

      It’s a shame he’s retiring. He’s a genuinely good, nice guy (though that, as we know, does not translate to ruthless winning racing driver). He’s been the guy I’ve supported for a decade. I’m not sure who else will fill that gap for me. But I do think it’s probably the right time – he’s not going to do a Damon.

      I think the only thing now is that if he has a few duff races and it looks like he’s cruising along, there might well be a temptation to ask him to leave earlier and let his replacement settle in and get a few races before ’09 proper.

    9. After reading his retirement statment I was suprised he didn’t thank his fans for their support over the years. He thanked everyone else…including B. Ecclestone…but forgot his fans. A bit shabby, don’t you think?

    10. too bad but, time is time. i really wasn’t a great fan but always respected his take on things and honestly, i thought he sort of got shafted by williams when they tried to bring mansell back. i never thought of williams in the same way after that.

    11. It’s a shame to see him go, but he has made the right decision in retiring this year, another year and his performance would have probably dropped abit too much. I argee with McKay, at least he’s not doing a Damon!

      Now to see whether he will still give it 100% for the final races, it would be great for him to be on the podium one more time this year.

      Vettel is for certain going to Red Bull next year now.

    12. definatly vettel is going to RBR…but who is going to buy STR?????????????? why doest stupid AUDI steps in…i really like them….STR are interested in car manufacturers.. see this link

    13. William Wilgus
      3rd July 2008, 18:35

      In other words, they didn’t offer to re-new or extend his contract, and nobody else was interested.

    14. Sorry to see him go, although it’s nice to see his veteran status still have value within Red Bull for them to keep him on as a consultant. For the period he’s ran for, its unsurprising that he’s the highest British F1 points scorer of all time – with only perhaps a slight disappointment in that he started with Williams and then 9 seasons with McLaren without having won a championship. But to be kept in the Woking garage for that long is perhaps testament to his career in itself.

      I hope he does achieve the podium, at the British GP if not anywhere else remaining this season.

      We really are entering a new phase of F1 where a lot of young blood is coming in, and it’s good to see him step down on his accord…he sometimes came across as a bit defensive when accusations are made against his performance (as most drivers would be), but he seems a nice and decent guy through and through.

    15. With DC’s departure, 2009 will be the first season of F1 I have watched which doesn’t involve a driver with a square head. Is there anyone in GP2 who can fill this void?

    16. It’s interesting this was timed so close to Webber’s contract being renewed. I have a feeling there was a private meeting with DC where they told him they weren’t renewing his contract, immediately followed by a private meeting with Webber where they renewed his.

    17. Scott Joslin
      3rd July 2008, 19:26

      I agree with Adam – too many excuses, but a good bloke at heart!

      He probably has the BBC commentary contract in his pocket now.

    18. Robert McKay
      3rd July 2008, 19:58

      I hope they don’t actually use him in the commentary box – that wouldn’t suit him I don’t think. Use him as a pundit, a la Blundell/Jardine.

    19. More on Coulthard’s decision to retire in the press conferences thread in the forum:

      2008 British Grand Prix press conferences

    20. I’m also sorry to see him go he kept the scottish flag going for so long(always british?) on the few times when he won a grand prix and time cannot stand still for anyone – I wish him well and it is sad he never thanked his fans – but why bitch about it?

    21. Well, I’ve grown to like the miserable old jock over the years.. Good luck at he Beeb next year ;)

    22. I thought we’d see one more season from him, and was looking forward to it.

      I’ll be sad to see DC go – he was ‘the’ driver that got me interested in F1 in the first place, so it definately feels like the end of an era to me.

    23. I am not at all surprised by David Coulthard’s decision but I am saddened by it. One of my favourite Coulthard moments was the now infamous one finger gesture to Michael Schumacher at the 2000 French Grands Prix, after Michael blocked him at the Adelaide hairpin.
      When Coulthard made the move stick a lap later at the same spot on the racetrack, rubbing wheels with the Ferrari in the process, I was seriously impressed.
      I know in recent interviews Coulthard has openly admitted that he regrets not staying at Williams longer during the mid 1990’s, when Williams had a competitive car. One can only speculate on what might have been.
      I think we are all agreed that Vettel is the likely replacement for Coulthard, but who will replace Vettel at Toro Rosso?

    24. Very few drivers have done so little with such awesome equipment at his disposal. DC is forever a #2 “B” driver in my mind.

    25. Mario Peeters
      4th July 2008, 7:03

      Great drivers decide when it is time to go. The others are told when to go.

    26. The press thinks that Vettel has got a pre contract with redbull since Spain.
      David says he is going to stay in the team for testing and that a bit like michael schumacher has done.

    27. Also thought next year would be DC’s last , however ,looking back at his carreer , I think it can be said it was an above average one. As he admits himself , he got his chance in a championship winning car , but never took it when he should have. It’s a bit ironic compared say to Villeneauve , who DID win one WDC , but apart from that I feel had a lacklustre carreer compared to DC . Surely Vettel will move up from STR to RBR now ?

    28. Coulthard has gone about his retirement decision with a grace that suits the way he’s conducted the rest of his career.

    29. Good.

    30. “but who will replace Vettel at Toro Rosso”

      Bruno Senna? I think I read somewhere on another F1 site that Gerhard Berger, a great friend of his late Uncle, is trying to slot him somewhere…but it would depend on the state of Torro Rosso next season. Probably rumours though.

    31. AmericanTifosi
      5th July 2008, 4:16

      I hate to be cruel, but when I found out DC was going, I cheered.

    32. Why?

    33. Nothing that hasn’t already been said about him. I kind of supported him whence he moved outta Macca. He had this hunger to prove himself. Remained completely sane and a decent gent through all the negative press about why he was not a winner and blah blah. I started to appreciate the chap beneath the racing overalls.

      “i never thought of williams in the same way after that.”

      Mate, teams do what they think is in their best interests, they invest millions including the pay of the drivers, so i think it is fair that they chose which driver they want to run. The question you want to pose, is whether what they did is intelligent or daft?

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