Happy Coulthard Feels Vindicated

David Coulthard showed there is still life after McLaren on Sunday when, in his second points-scoring finish with the new Red Bull team, he became the most successful points-scoring British driver in Formula One history

The 33-year-old Scot, his jaw this season decorated by a salt-and-pepper beard, followed up his debut for the former Jaguar outfit, when he finished fourth in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, by taking sixth place in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Since many observers were writing him off last year as he struggled to prove he deserved a new team after being released by McLaren, his two straight strong races for Red Bull have re-established his reputation and reinvigorated his image.

He only joined the newly-created Red Bull Racing outfit in November, after they had bought Jaguar from Ford, but after two outings he already enjoys senior status and his broad smile transmitted genuine pleasure after this latest achievement.

His three points were all that he required to overhaul Englishman Nigel Mansell, whose career he followed closely at Williams where he began his own career. Mansell had scored 482 and on Sunday Coulthard passed him on 483.

Coulthard, 34 next Sunday and a veteran of 13 wins in 177 Grands Prix in 12 seasons of racing leapt ahead of the 1992 champion Mansell, who scored his 482 in his 187 races.

"This vindicates my decision to want to be in this business," said Coulthard. "I'm delighted. I really am very proud of that achievement for everyone who supported me throughout my career. It's no small feat."

Asked about becoming Britain's highest points-scorer, he said: "Obviously, I am very proud of that achievement. I would have loved to have had a world title, that goes without saying. The past is the past, I'm just pleased to be able to keep adding points to my tally."

He added: "I felt really good about beating Ferrari today, because Ferrari are a great team with a wealth of experience and for whatever reason they got the wrong choice of tyre and didn't perform.

"I realise it's with the old car but none the less we out-qualified and out-raced Ferrari. I made it more difficult by a couple of little errors but I'm pushing and that's only the second Grand Prix I've done with one set of tyres."

Mansell's total of 31 wins remains the greatest by a British driver ahead of three-times World Champion Jackie Stewart who won 27, his Scottish compatriot Jim Clark, Damon Hill on 22, Stirling Moss on 16, and Graham Hill on 14.

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