Q & A with David Coulthard
|By Simon Strang||Wednesday, July 9th 2008, 15:28 GMT|
Q. Do you think you will race in some other series, now you have announced your retirement?
David Coulthard: I have no intention of racing anything else. The only reason I said I haven't hung up my helmet, is because in six months or one year, if there is an opportunity to race something that I think could be interesting, then everybody will say he is coming out of retirement.
I am retiring from Formula One. After 15 years racing in it, I recognise that it is the right time to stop racing in F1. I am going to continue to help Red Bull progress as a team. My helmet be put to one side, but it will still come out to test, I will still keep fit and I will still be active on that side.
But I have no conversations with anyone about racing anything next year. But at some point maybe I will, but today it is not part of my thoughts.
Q. You are not interested in doing Le Mans again?
DC: I won it in 1993. I'm not thinking about it today, maybe in a year's time I will think 'wow I really want to do Le Mans'. But today I really want to do the test and then I really want to have a good race next week. Then I really want to enjoy all the races. To think about racing something else while I am still racing in F1 just seems ridiculous.
I've told everyone my intentions for next year to stop the rumour, stop the speculation and allow the team to plan ahead. It was the right thing to do, but I'm not going MotoGP or truck racing or something!
Q. The 2009 regulations suggest there are exciting changes ahead, wouldn't you love to part of that?
DC: If you want a yes/no answer then yes, but I have chosen not to.
Q. Seeing Rubens on the podium last weekend, did it make you have second thoughts?
DC: When you make a decision, you look at the opportunities and you look at the options. The worst thing in life is to make a decision and change your mind. I've made a decision. I will stop at the end of the season and nothing will change my mind, because there is no reason to change my mind. The reason I decided to finish this year is that I'll be 38 next year, I'll have done 15 seasons,
I'm not likely to win a world championship at this stage. There are other things I can do with my life. You don't have to be a Grand Prix driver to be happy - I was happy before I was in F1. The only difference is that when you are in F1 you get paid a lot of money to do what you were doing before, for no money. I have had a great career and I am very happy with that.
Q. Is there anything that you will miss about F1?
DC: I hope I miss everything about F1, because then that means that it was really important to me. But I can't know until December.
Q. What are your future plans beyond F1?
DC: If Red Bull need me to test, then I have done an agreement that I will test the car. I enjoy testing and developing the car, and I think it is something that I can do well, even if I'm not racing. The basics of what makes a good car and developing a car is based on confidence, feel and laptime, and irrespective of where my laptime in comparison to what the race drivers might be doing, if it's quicker, it's quicker. It's slower, it's slower. That's how do you develop a car.
Q. Looking at the younger drivers, do you see a difference from your generation?
DC: I guess there is a difference because they grew up in a different era. They grew up in an era with computers and mobile phones and things like that. Things were done in a different way when I was a kid, today that generation its second nature to them. It was different for us that's all.
Q. What do you think of Lewis as the new generation of British driver?
DC: His drive on Sunday was remarkable. When you look at how difficult the conditions and how many problems other drivers had. He was just in the zone. For sure one of the remarkable drives in the history of F1.
Q. Were you despondent at your last home GP?
DC: Yes I was. But it doesn't matter that it was my last home race, I was disappointed because it ended in the gravel.