Coulthard hits back at critics

David Coulthard has got himself fired up for the first running of his new Red Bull Racing car at Jerez in Spain on Monday by angrily hitting back at his critics who claim he has made a mistake deciding to stay in Formula 1

Coulthard hits back at critics

The former McLaren driver has been criticised by several leading stars, including former grand prix drivers Eddie Irvine and John Watson, for opting to make the move down the grid order rather than retiring at the end of his spell with a top team.

But speaking exclusively to autosport.com about his future plans, Coulthard has angrily rounded on his critics - and insisted that their grounds for him hanging up the helmet were not worthy enough.

He claims that the single biggest motivation in his life is being competitive in Formula 1 - and that it would therefore have been wrong to retire if there was a clear job offer on the table.

"This is a public business and people will inevitably give their comments, but I am very clear," said Coulthard. "This isn't about doing something for someone else, and for someone to suggest that I should go off and retire because I have a reputation and because of my statistics and all that - that is just a very defensive attitude. It's like basically saying: 'Oh, I don't want to damage my statistics by doing more races without having a chance to strengthen them.'

"But I want to live my life. This is a significant part of my life. It is about the motivation that comes from working with the team, the excitement and energy that comes from working with those dedicated people, giving them direction and representing them on the race track and trying to do the best job that I possibly can.

"If somebody is prepared to give me that opportunity then I am prepared to give 100 percent. That is the beginning and end of it."

He added: "And as to other people's opinion on it? I have won grands prix and in doing so competed against and beaten the best driver in the history of our sport, so I don't feel I have anything to particularly prove or justify to anyone else. This is about me and the team."

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