Coulthard rises above the criticism


In the wake of a strong performance in Melbourne, David Coulthard has silenced his many critics, in the grandstands, but more importantly in the pitlane and within the media.

Up until he signed for Red Bull in December, there was widespread belief that the Scotsman had come to the end of his F1 career, with many suggesting that he should retire gracefully.

The Scot however was determined to prove that he still had the hunger, and in Australia he sent a clear message to his many critics. "I'm back!"

"People having an opinion on my as a driver is ok," he said in Malaysia today. "They're right and we as professional sports people earn our pennies because of the public interest and the link between the racing, the media and feeding the public, so I don't have a problem with people deciding that on the race of it, armed with the information that they have, their opinion is this.

"But the reality is, of course, that you can't pass judgment - or full judgment - unless you're armed with all the facts," he continued, "because otherwise you'd never have trials for court cases for anything. You'd just walk in and go 'guilty f**k 'em, lock 'em up'. I'm armed with all the facts, through my eyes because I've experienced the emotions involved with being a Grand Prix driver and other people in the team are armed with all the facts with their view. To the outside world, depending on how close the relationship they have with either me or other members of the team, then they get more or less of the facts.

"This is a long-winded way of not really answering the question in that I don't have anything to say to the critics because I'm not doing it for them," he added. "And yes, the media, you play an important part in our sport and you can build a driver and you can break a driver, but you know I probably did more damage on my own, through the difficulties I had with one lap qualifying, than any single person just saying 'oh yeah, he should go off and do something else.' I don't want to do something else."

Asked how happy he feels at Red Bull racing, and whether he feels "lived", the Scot replied: "If you think they all love me! I don't really know that many people in the team is the truth so far because my winter testing was with the test team and obviously it's all the race team that I'm working with now).

"So I'm still getting to know a lot of the people but you know it's some of the people who I worked with 14 years ago at Paul Stewart Racing. So, some of the oldest relationships I have in motor sport are within what is Red Bull Racing now and it obviously started with PSR. So I feel comfortable.

"I just want to do my job and enjoy myself and go home," he added. "I don't need to feel the banging the head against the brick wall frustration that sometimes has been there in the past. Why do I want to do that through choice? I actively pursued continuing my Grand Prix career because I enjoy the thrill of going racing on a Sunday. The whole Grand Prix weekend is a main source of pleasure to me, even on the bad days, so I enjoyed the good fortune we had as a team in Melbourne and expect that normal order will be resumed for the majority of the remaining Grands Prix, but it still means we can do our jobs and give direction, and give an opinion on what needs to be worked on."

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Published: 17/03/2005
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