Legendary Williams Drivers

David Coulthard

Scot David Coulthard was drafted in to Williams by Sir Frank to fill the void left by the death of Ayrton Senna (no pressure then!) Making his debut in the 1994 Spanish Grand Prix, he would drive for Williams until the end of 1995, winning one race and finishing third in the 1995 F1 World Championship - his first full season in the sport.

1

15

1994

Team Debut

2

Poles

2

Seasons

1

Fastest Laps

63

Total Points

David Coulthard was born in Twynholm in 1971. His Grandfather took part in the Monte Carlo Rally and his Dad was Scottish National Kart Champion.

Coulthard himself began karting aged eleven before moving up to single seaters in the Formula Ford Championship, to Formula 3 winning the prestigious Macau GP, and then to Formula 3000.

He was making good progress in F3000 alongside a testing role for Williams, when on the 1st of May 1994 Ayrton Senna was killed in the San Marino Grand Prix and two races later, Coulthard was asked to step in.

Gulp.

David Coulthard and Williams

He shared the 1994 drive with Williams legend Nigel Mansell, before being given the seat full-time in 1995, following a contract dispute with McLaren was settled in Williams’ favour.

His first pole position, and then his first win shortly followed, but the season was not considered a success with Coulthard and team-mate Damon Hill losing out to Schumacher and Benetton in the championship despite having what most onlookers deemed to be the best car.

David Coulthard eventually got his McLaren move in 1996, where he’d partner Mika Hakkinen. A season beset by retirements was salvaged by a couple of podiums and an eventual 7th place in the championship.

For 1997, McLaren were joined by ex-Williams man Adrian Newey who transformed them into a world beater, and Coulthard won the season opener in Australia, finishing the season in third place in the championship, thanks to some poor reliability.

Team-mate Hakkinen won the Championship in 1998 with Coulthard in a disappointing third, and he did likewise in 1999, this time with Coulthard an even more disappointing fourth.

He would remain with McLaren for the next five years, winning races in all but one of them (2004).

On leaving McLaren, David Coulthard joined Red Bull’s new project, but it was a year or two too soon, and they weren’t yet the team they are today.

After a promising first season he finished with 24 points, Coulthard spent most of the next three years around tenth, before securing one final trip to the podium at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix, before retiring from F1 for good.

Categories: Drivers

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