Coulthard makes comeback for adrenaline rush

RETIRED Formula One driver David Coulthard, below, will return to the racetrack with Mercedes in the German Touring Car (DTM) series this season, he confirmed yesterday. None of the races clash with F1, allowing the 39-year-old Scot to continue with his current role of BBC television pundit.

“I am missing adrenaline,” Coulthard, a winner of 13 F1 races with Williams and McLaren, said at the Malaysian Grand Prix. “There’s a lot of quick young guys in there – Paul di Resta who is the reserve driver for Force India and Gary Paffett who is reserve driver for McLaren. There’s no slouches in that championship so I’ll probably get well and truly beaten. But if you don’t try, you don’t know.”

Di Resta, the 23-year-old from Bathgate who finished second in the 2008 DTM championship, and was third last year, tested with Coulthard earlier this year and admitted it was great to have the grand prix winner alongside him.

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“Having someone of the calibre of David in DTM is not only great for me, but it’s another indication of just how competitive the championship is,” he said. “I grew up watching David racing in Formula One and winning races. Now I’m in F1 as well and I’m going to be going wheel-to-wheel with him in. I think it’s going to be great for the championship, and certainly fantastic for Scotland.”

Coulthard meanwhile, is eagerly looking forward to returning to the track. “I didn’t actively look to race anything through 2009 but at the season finale DTM race I really got the buzz and the tingle again for the competition,” the Twynholm-born racer explained.

“That led to a test with Mercedes, which led to me making the decision that I’d like to dovetail my BBC work with racing in the DTM. There’s a reasonable level of technology involved in the cars, it’s a professionally-run championship and in Mercedes there’s a company I worked with for seven years in my time at McLaren.

“Do I miss the competition? Only because I know how much fun it is to compete. But there’s not a big void in my life which means I’m missing it.

“But if I can do a championship which fits with my other commitments and I get the buzz you get behind the wheel of a racing car, then why would I not take it? I’m almost 40, I won’t have that option open to me when I’m almost 50.”

The opening round of the DTM is at Hockenheim on April 25.