F1: David Coulthard to park up for good as Michael Schumacher reveals cowboy dream
SCOTLAND’S David Coulthard is to bring the curtain down on his career in the German-based DTM racing series this weekend.
After three seasons and 33 races for Mercedes, Coulthard will take part in his final DTM race in the season finale at Hockenheim. The 41-year-old is to concentrate on his expert summariser role with the BBC’s Formula 1 coverage, and his family, while being retained by Mercedes-Benz as a brand ambassador.
Coulthard, who won 13 of 246 grands prix in F1 over a 15-season career prior to switching to DTM in 2010, said: “I am looking forward to the final race of what has been an exciting season in the DTM. The weekend will be my final opportunity to compete at this level as I will stop racing in the DTM to concentrate on my developing off-track businesses, and of course my family.”
Although only scoring 16 points during his three seasons, with his best finish a fifth earlier this year, Coulthard has been a popular character on the DTM scene.
Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport vice-president, said: “David’s involvement in the DTM has been good for him and the championship.
“He is skilled on the race track, and eloquent and analytical in his TV work and as an AMG brand ambassador. He has been a successful member of the Mercedes family for over a decade and a half, and will remain so after his retirement from active racing.”
Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher could literally ride off into the sunset when he retires from Formula 1 next month after revealing a plan to take up competitive cowboy-style riding.
The seven-time world champion, now 43, told Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper in an interview yesterday that his wife Corinna, a keen horsewoman, had suggested a possible future direction. “I’m thinking of getting involved in Western Riding competitions,” declared the German. “Corinna, who has been doing these events for years, has already chosen the right horse for me. I’ll give it a try.”
The Mercedes driver, who is a fan of cowboy shirts and boots and owns a ranch with his wife in Switzerland, said he had no plans to continue driving in any other motorsport series after this year. “Formula 1 offers the maximum in terms of emotion, speed, and complete work. Any other kind of car would not give me the same emotions. I am stopping here,” he said.
The former Ferrari driver added he was pleased his friend and former team-mate Felipe Massa was staying at the Italian team next season. He also expressed divided loyalties in the title battle between his friend and compatriot Sebastian Vettel, the double champion leading the standings for Red Bull, and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
On the rumoured prospect of Vettel joining Ferrari in 2014, Schumacher said that every driver - as he had done - felt the need for new challenges.
In another F1 development yesterday, Sauber stated they will run Mexican prospect Esteban Gutierrez in a young driver test in Abu Dhabi next month.
The 21-year-old is already the team’s test and reserve driver and is tipped as a likely candidate to fill the shoes of compatriot Sergio Perez, who is joining McLaren as Lewis Hamilton’s replacement next season. Sauber have a number of important Mexican sponsors and Monterrey-born Gutierrez is also backed by the country’s telephone giant Telmex within the same Escuderia Telmex line-up as Perez.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
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Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
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