Coulthard: 'Schumacher was better, but I didn't want to be a second driver'

19-05-2020 19:59
F1 News
Coulthard: 'Schumacher was better, but I didn't want to be a second driver'

David Coulthard had the chance to drive for Ferrari in 1996, but the Scottish driver deliberately turned down that chance. In that year Michael Schumacher also came to drive for the Italian team and Coulthard would then take the role of second driver. The Scottish driver didn't like that, who was just making a career in Formula 1. That's why he chose McLaren.

Second driver

In an interview with RTE Ireland, the driver looks back on that period, making this decision purely with a view to what was best for his career. "At Ferrari, the contract that was offered, on paper, was that I would be the second driver next to Michael".

"I have no doubt that Michael was the better driver of our two, because he was the better overall driver than I was at that time in my career. I just couldn't accept signing a number two contract, so I decided to sign with McLaren. I think that was the right decision for my career."

Red Bull Racing

With McLaren, Mika Hakkinen managed to become champion in 1998 and 1999 where David Coulthard never got further than second place in the championship, in 2001. Later in his career it was time to look ahead, as his time at McLaren would come to an end. One option that was there was Jaguar. But he didn't like that.

"I had already decided that I didn't want to go to Jaguar. But then Red Bull bought the team. The management changed and that also changed my view on the team. I remember meeting Mateschitz before I agreed to sign the contract."

"I wanted to look him in the eye to understand what his wishes were. From this I understood that it was not only an brand exercise, but that this would really be a big investment to put the team in a winning position", so 'DC' signed a contract with the team that became champion from 2010 to 2014 with Sebastian Vettel.

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