David Coulthard shares insights on his F1 career and personal journey, questioning the essence of racing and life beyond the track.
David Coulthard competed in F1 from 1994 to 2008, clinching several Grand Prix victories and playing a key role in the sport’s premier category for a few seasons. However, he reveals today that although he got caught up in the racing circus, he wasn’t the enthusiast that some of his counterparts are.
“I mean, I love life, but I’m not sure I ever loved being a race car driver,” Coulthard told the Telegraph. “It always seemed to me that life wasn’t just about that.”
“I was fortunate to grow up in a loving family and we raced together, but the rest of my week was a normal life. So, I always knew that being a Grand Prix driver, living in Monaco, and traveling the world weren’t necessary for happiness. Happiness is something you grant yourself.”
Motivation Lost: Coulthard’s Final Realization
He recalls the day he realized his motivation had definitively vanished: “During pre-season testing for what turned out to be my last year, when I drove the car, I didn’t feel it. In racing, that brand-new car at the start of the season carries all the hopes and desires.”
“Unlike other sports, where if you’re, say, Novak Djokovic, you tend to be in shape throughout your career, drivers need that car, otherwise, they can’t perform.”
“So, Lewis Hamilton wins races when he has a good car, but not when he has an average car. And that day, I knew my car wasn’t a winning car – and I lost the energy. I lost the fight.
“It’s like relationships. You never imagine not being in one, until the moment you say, ‘I don’t want to be in this relationship anymore.’ And instead of feeling depressed, I felt liberated.”
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