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David Coulthard announces his retirement 03 Jul 2008

David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, French Grand Prix, Preparations, Magny-Cours, France, Thursday, 19 June 2008 David Coulthard (GBR) Williams FW16 replaced Ayrton Senna at Williams after his fatal accident. Spanish GP, Barcelona, 29 May 1994. World © Sutton David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing RB4.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, French Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Magny-Cours, France, Saturday, 21 June 2008 (L to R): David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing with Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, French Grand Prix, Race, Magny-Cours, France, Sunday, 22 June 2008

Ahead of his home race at Silverstone this weekend, Red Bull’s David Coulthard has announced he is to retire from competitive Formula One racing at the end of the 2008 season. Coulthard, who started his F1 career back in 1994, will continue to work for the team in a new testing and development role.

“I will remain actively involved in the sport as a consultant to Red Bull Racing focusing on testing and development of the cars," explained the Scot in a statement. "I have an open mind as to whether or not I will compete again in the future, in some other form of motorsport, so I am definitely not hanging up my helmet!

“My decision to retire was taken earlier in the year and is based on a desire to stop while I am still competitive and enjoying the immense challenge that Grand Prix driving represents. I also have the desire to look for new challenges within the sport. The decision to make this announcement at the British Grand Prix should be an obvious one for all to understand, as I have achieved two of my thirteen F1 victories at Silverstone and I am a member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, which hosts this event.

“I am proud of my work at Red Bull Racing and will continue to race with the same focus until the last lap in Brazil. Thereafter I will continue to help the team develop and move towards their ultimate goal of winning races.”

Coulthard landed his first Formula One drive with Williams 14 years ago, following the tragic death of Ayrton Senna. Since then he has won 13 Grands Prix, scored 12 pole positions and set 18 fastest laps. The 37 year-old has also clinched 62 podium positions over his career and took his most recent at last month's Canadian Grand Prix.

“Working with David has been an absolute pleasure and his contribution to the team over the past four seasons has been significant,” commented Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. “He is a consummate professional and I think that one of the key elements to the length of his career is the dedication he has applied and the commitment he has shown to the team. He has demonstrated that he is a real team player, a fact reinforced by the statistic that he has only driven for two other F1 teams in his career.

“He scored our first point, our first podium and was the first of our drivers to lead a grand prix. Above all, he is a gentleman and I regard him as a good friend. Within the team there’s a huge amount of respect for David. His retirement brings to a close not just his career as a grand prix racing driver but also a chapter in the history of Formula One, if one considers the changes the sport has been through while he has been involved with it.

“Now he heads off to face a new challenge. Red Bull Racing will still be utilising his services and he will on occasion drive the car in test sessions for us so that we can draw upon his vast experience and knowledge. He will be involved as a consultant to the team and to the technical group as we look to extract the maximum from his considerable experience of Formula One. I don’t think he will be struggling to fill his time!”

Red Bull have yet to announce who will replace Coulthard for the 2009 season.

David Coulthard’s statement in full:
I would like to announce today my decision to retire from racing in Formula One at the end of this season. I will remain actively involved in the sport as a consultant to Red Bull Racing focusing on testing and development of the cars. I have an open mind as to whether or not I will compete again in the future, in some other form of motorsport, so I am definitely not hanging up my helmet!

My decision to retire was taken earlier in the year and is based on a desire to stop while I am still competitive and enjoying the immense challenge that Grand Prix driving represents. I also have the desire to look for new challenges within the sport. The decision to make this announcement at the British GP should be an obvious one for all to understand, as I have achieved two of my thirteen F1 victories at Silverstone and I am a member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, which hosts this event.

I am proud of my work at Red Bull Racing and will continue to race with the same focus until the last lap in Brazil. Thereafter I will continue to help the team develop and move towards their ultimate goal of winning races.

There are many people who have played a part in my career and I would like to list a few of them below;

- My parents whose energy and encouragement through my entire career has been amazing

- Dave Boyce who guided me through Karting

- David Leslie Senior and Junior for teaching me how to set up and race a car

- Sir Jackie and Paul Stewart for putting me through their ‘staircase of talent’

- Sir Frank Williams and Williams Renault for having the faith to promote me from test driver to race driver, which lead to my first GP victory

- Ron Dennis and the McLaren team where I spent nine seasons and achieved the majority of my success.

- Norbert Haug and Mercedes for being racers through and through

- Dietrich Mateschitz and his Red Bull Racing team for providing me with the chance to contribute to the development of a new team, while continuing to compete and add to my tally of podiums

- Christian Horner for his open and professional management style in association with Helmut Marko

- Bernie Ecclestone for providing such a strong platform for us all to develop our skills and be able to call ourselves professionals. In years to come, my future family will still be thanking him for the financial success of F1

- My management team of Martin Brundle and David Cawthorne in association with Annette Hutchinson and Iain Cunningham for providing their valued opinions.

- There have been three teams but only one designer, so Adrian Newey deserves special thanks for all the champagne that I have sprayed

- And last but not least, all the media, officials, marshals, medical support, mechanics, engineers, sponsors, lawyers, accountants and back room staff that I have worked with during this period.

DC
Silverstone 2008