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Coulthard: 'Max's attitude and fighting spirit was evident there'

Coulthard: 'Max's attitude and fighting spirit was evident there'

23-12-2021 18:04

David Coulthard raced for Red Bull Racing between 2005 and 2008 and has remained involved with the Austrian team ever since. He still does some demonstration laps for his former team, for example at the Jumbo Racedagen three years ago. Coulthard saw the relief at Red Bull after Max Verstappen won the world title.

"It’s [Red Bull] a very close, tight knit team. All of the Formula One teams are big families, as you know, and of course the celebration is something which is overwhelming and you can see that the relief for Christian. Adrian it’s a bit more difficult to see that because he's a more reserved man and he's had a bit of success along the way, but it was a truly unbelievable weekend and nobody could have predicted the outcome the way it happened," Coulthard told us via a video link in the Formula 1 café on Ziggo Sport.

The 50-year-old Scot was present as a commentator together with former teammate Mark Webber during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and admitted he didn't expect the race to restart. "You know, I was in the commentary box with Mark Webber and our lead commentator and with the amount of laps that were left, I just didn't think they would get the debris cleared because there was no clear crane in that area. So, for me I thought we were going to have one of these sort of anticlimax races where it runs a safety car to the chequered flag.

"In fairness and all credit to the marshals there, they cleared the debris, and in fairness and all credit to the FYI and Michael Masi, he didn't want the World Championship to be rolling out under a safety car. Now I understand, of course this is something deeply controversial for Mercedes, but in terms of what an ending to an incredible season - you couldn't have written a better Hollywood script."

Verstappen on the edge

Coulthard saw Verstappen be sharper than ever before on the decisive restart on the final lap. "What I was thinking was that Max was just wanting not even to be on the gearbox because then you have to react to when the car in front accelerates. He wanted to be on the radiator on the side of the car, and I think it actually sums up very well the attitude and the fighting spirit of Max.

"He doesn't think like normal racing drivers because if he did he would be a normal racing driver. He's an exceptional racing driver, so he thinks in a different way, and that's why I think this championship is so fascinating because Lewis is exceptional and when you put these two guys together they’re always seconds ahead of the field.

"But we should give a notable mention to Checo Perez - this was an unbelievable defence of the lead. I never believed that this could be possible."

When asked if Hamilton may have squandered his last chance to win an eight world championship, Coulthard replied: "No, not at all, because Formula One is always about the team and their ability to develop and build a race car. Mercedes are an incredible team. There's no question that they've been spending time on the new regulations. They have a great power unit so you know that gives him a solid base.

"Lewis could have been a nine or ten time world champion already. He doesn't need an eighth to be considered one of the true greats of the sport. Yeah, it would be nice in terms of beating Michael's record, but in some ways given Michael's condition, there's something quite nice about the fact that his legacy at the moment is still intact."

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