Coulthard pitches for BAR drive

David Coulthard was not slow to point out his own record and praise the efforts of BAR Honda this year, as the team now appears faced with finding a replacement for Jenson Button

Coulthard pitches for BAR drive

Despite BAR team principal David Richards vowing to fight to retain his man, the general paddock consensus seems to be that it is pointless trying to hang on to a driver who has made it plain he wants to drive for another team. Richards and his lawyers might think differently, however.

If Button does ultimately leave, BAR is left needing, effectively, a team leader. If Coulthard's ultimate speed might be called into question, especially in qualifying, his marketability and professionalism cannot. The Scot, holidaying with Button on his yacht, probably also had a head start when it came to the BMW Williams/Jenson shock announcement.

"I'm highly motivated," Coulthard said in Hungary, "and can't understand anyone thinking anything else. I'm the second most successful driver on the grid and that didn't happen by accident, it came through talent and hard work."

Coulthard admitted that he and manager Martin Brundle had targeted all the decent available F1 seats. Recently, though, Peter Sauber said: "David has been a number two for a long time, even if not in name, and that can be difficult. I respect his ability but I don't know where he would place us on his list."

Coulthard, however, was highly complimentary about BAR's 2004 season. "BAR's performance this year has been fantastic," he said, "and there's no reason to suspect it will be different next year. They've done a fantastic job under David Richards' leadership and I see no reason why they cannot build on it."

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