DC gets Pitchforth's vote

David Coulthard's hopes of landing an F1 drive with Red Bull Racing next year were boosted on Monday when team chiefs admitted signing a driver with his experience would be "a no-brainer"

DC gets Pitchforth's vote

Coulthard impressed the squad during two days of testing at Jerez last week and, after sources claimed he visited its Milton Keynes factory on Monday for a technical debrief following the test, it looks increasingly likely that RBR will agree a deal with the former McLaren driver.

Managing director David Pitchforth praised the job Coulthard did in testing and - although the final decision about who will drive will be taken by Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz - said he would support the team signing the Scot.

"Having an experienced driver is a no-brainer," said Pitchforth. "[Coulthard] did two good days testing for us and did a very professional job. He's got all the experience and ability that we need to move the team forward, so if I was asked if I would sign him then I would say yes. Nothing is signed yet, but we're working on things and I hope we can come to an agreement. But I would still say things are 50-50 - they could still go either way."

There has been speculation that Coulthard could take a full-time race seat at RBR next year with Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi sharing the second seat. But such a scenario has been ruled out with the team confirming that Klien's experience means that he is overqualified for a Friday testing role with the outfit. The current rules relating to Friday testing allow a driver to have taken part in just six grands prix over the previous two years, and having contested the whole 2004 season Klien obviously wouldn't be eligible.

"Klien can't do the Fridays for us, and it's not something we would like to do with a racing driver," said Pitchforth. "You've got to be committed to them and for Christian to give up the [race] seat and not do the Friday role is not something that is ideal."

Pitchforth did confirm, however, that Coulthard is not the only experienced driver the team is speaking to, and Anthony Davidson and Alex Wurz remain outsiders for a race seat.

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