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David Coulthard s F1 Odyssey Perspectives from Jordan and Hill
David Marshall Coulthard (GBR) (West McLaren Mercedes), McLaren MP4/13 - Mercedes FO 110G 3.0 V10 1998 ©

Coulthard Finds Serenity Without the F1 Crown

14/01/2024

Embarking on the F1 Odyssey with David Coulthard: A Symphony of Speed, Humility, and Candid Conversations with Eddie Jordan and Damon Hill, Unveiling the Peaks and Valleys of his Career.

David Coulthard was never a serious contender for the world title, despite driving for McLaren F1 during the late ’90s when the team was dominating Formula 1. The Scottish driver discussed this with Eddie Jordan, who humorously reflected on having a very negative perception of Coulthard during that time.

“I don’t like you, I don’t even appreciate you!” Jordan jokes while addressing Coulthard. “That’s why I never had you in the car. Because I thought you were a show-off. I thought you were all about the flash. You had all those wonderful little girlfriends, and I said, ‘I don’t want him in the car’.”

Coulthard, who believed he could become a consistent title contender year after year while at McLaren, lost valuable time due to his refusal to use left-foot braking for many seasons.

“There are two or three things,” Coulthard continues. “Firstly, I switched to left-foot braking relatively late. When Mika [Häkkinen] and I were teammates at McLaren, we already knew that right-foot braking compromised your abilities in medium-speed corners.”

“Of course, if you brake with your right foot, you have to completely lift off the accelerator to apply pressure and then go back. So, that held me back a bit,” Coulthard explains.

“Once I learned and felt comfortable with left-foot braking, I believe my best season was 2001. I was in contention for the world championship with Michael and finished second,” Coulthard recalls.

Coulthard: Honest Reflections on F1’s Peaks and Valleys

Coulthard enjoys witnessing “extraordinary performances” in Formula 1. However, he is honest about his own level and acknowledges that he wasn’t as skilled as his world champion teammates like Häkkinen and Kimi Räikkönen.

“Would it have been nice? Of course. But do I believe I deserve, based on my 15 years, to be in the same category as what I consider the world champions? There are headline acts, men and women who stand out because you wonder how they could do that,” Coulthard reflects.

“I never experienced that frenzy where people asked me, ‘how did you do that?’. So, no, I am perfectly at peace with the career I had. That’s what still attracts me to Formula 1 today,” Coulthard concludes.

“When you see Lewis Hamilton and some of his races, you think, ‘it’s incredible.’ When I see these exceptional performances, it’s just remarkable, and that’s what still draws me to this sport,” Coulthard emphasizes.

Becoming serious again, Jordan explained that he had recently questioned Coulthard’s level and had asked Damon Hill, who had driven alongside the Scotsman in 1994 and 1995, about it. The 1996 world champion praised his intrinsic speed but also recalled his clumsy side.

“I regarded you, and I still do, as a kind and relatively gentle person. I had a conversation with Damon Hill recently, and I asked him, ‘tell me, what was DC’s true level?'” Jordan expressed.

“He told me that you were incredibly fast. He said you were really fast. I replied, ‘Really?’ And Damon said, ‘When David was in front of me, I never thought I could catch up to him. But five laps later, David ended up in the wall,'” Jordan recounted.

David Coulthard’s F1 Odyssey. David Coulthard’s F1 Odyssey

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