David Coulthard was at best an average to good Formula One driver. Yes he won races, but they were in a superior car and in situations where to do otherwise would have necessitated the driver be a blind man driving on verbal instruction.
He raced against the Lewis Hamilton of his time – and was found severely wanting, week in and week out. He never took a championship battle with his team-mate to the final race or even 2, 3 or 4 races of the season and as such has no experience of this situation.
Coulthard’s best performance in the drivers’ championship was to finish second, the equivalent of over 100 points back in today’s point allocation system.
It’s worth noting that predominantly ex-F1 racers who constitute the majority of ‘specialist’ punters for Formula One TV broadcasts were rarely the grade A drivers from their competition era. And in days of yore, the quality of the ‘B’ class drivers was significantly lower than the second tier we see in the sport today.
Yet some of these relative failures behind the wheel, consistently heap negative criticism on certain current drivers yet are unable to perceive the true underlying story. Apparently theses ‘experts’ know better than we the psychology and mindset of a top F1 driver and attempt to speak with an authority that only a true world champion can understand. Their crime is they present themselves as having equal understanding and experience.
If these ‘specialists’ corrective comment was from the position of – “I was weak at this, and couldn’t deliver…., however this approach/attitude is what I saw in my better team-mate/rival…”, then maybe it would be a more palatable offering.
Of the European broadcasters who employ ex-F1 racing drivers, only Hill, Villeneuve and Lauda can claim to know what it takes to compete and win consistently at the highest level, having attained the prize of being a champion.
Of course anyone is entitled to express their opinion, but Coulthard’s observations are worth little more than any regular Formula One fan, though the Scot regularly cites his special F1 background as the foundation for expert knowledge.
The reason for this is he believes his opinion alone is good enough. At times his lack of preparation is palpable and obvious to most F1 fans.
Whether under specific instruction from his producers to spice matters up – or not, David Coulthard is morphing into what seems to be a highly arrogant and polemic buffoon. His commentary during the Malaysian GP appeared to be a single-minded attack race long attack on all things Rosberg. Of course this could be nothing to do with his strong friendship with Lewis Hamilton.
Yet Coulthard coins a phrase and repeats it, to the point that those with a less than critical ear begin to believe it to be a truism.
If Coulthard had possessed half the aggression and verve he criticises Rosberg for lacking, he would have put Schumacher on his arse when he the German stormed down the pit lane to confront Coulthard in his own garage. The spirit of Robert the Bruce was clearly AWOL that day.
To be fair to Martin Brundle, in his latest piece he admits he has no idea what current drivers are experiencing, due to the radical change the cars and tyres have undergone since he was a driver. Brundle is also a UK resident and pays tax in his home country to support those in society who are suffering true hardship and poverty.
Yet nausea abounds when we examine recent comments made by Coulthard to Indian publication, ‘The Economic Times.’
The ex –McLaren number two rounds on Fernando Alonso. “I find it to difficult to feel sorry about multi million pound racing drivers. I find it much easier to feel sorry for people struggling with hardship in life. You make your choices, you get on with it.”
Absolutely David; ‘play it again Sam. Make sure the audience heard my empathetic drivel which attempted to connect with Indian’s who are living in abject poverty, as I take a first class BBC paid flight home and on to my house in Monaco’.
It’s pompous and hypocritical for Coulthard to comment as he does above, seeing as many years ago he chose to extricate himself from the tax system of the country where he grew up; thus denying ‘people struggling with hardship’ who reside therein with any of the benefits his absent tax contribution would bring.
Coulthard was ‘owned’ by his team-mate but the focus of his relentless criticism – Nico Rosberg – will never know a level of subjugation that could liken him in any way to the ex-Scottish driver.
All this may be understandable if Coulthard was smart enough to perceive what has really been going on this year. Rosberg is in fact performing better in 2015 against Hamilton than he did at this stage of the season in 2014. Particularly when considering the German driver’s near miss in wresting pole from Lewis in Shanghai, which given a moment’s consideration would be akin to beating Manchester United 5-0 at Old Trafford.
Any mention of this from Coulthard. Nope. Just more Nico is ‘broken’ talk.
Coulthard was probably even unaware that Hamilton so favours this track in qualifying, that his pole in Shanghai this year means Lewis now joins an elite club of 4 drivers in F1 history to score 5 or more poles at one circuit.
Given that fact, Nico’s failure to beat Hamilton to pole by just 0.042 is a memorable and titanic effort.
In the end, Coulthard’s driving skills were a given, though there are those who believe the Scot lacked the application to cut it at the top. However DC can be judged separately for his punditry skills, analysis and predictions, though again at times a lack of effort and preparation are evident – it may just be a character thing common to his driving and his punditry.
But the DC persistent bias is worthy of note.
However, maybe it’s time the dour and uninspiring Scot, considered his position with the BBC. He is after all a highly privileged individual, remunerated by license fees paid by the hard-working resident tax paying citizens of the United Kingdom. It is they who are daily contributing financially to fellow citizens and “people struggling with hardship in life.”
The standard of the BBC Formula One broadcast has sunk to level’s which are now barely watch-able. Suzie Perry appears to be constantly confused by the instructions she is receiving in her ear and for those who remember the days of Jake Humphrey – it’s now a poor, poor show.
Bernie is in effect pocketing $30m a year of BBC license payers cash, and that’s before the cost of flights, hotels and jet ski lifestyle which being an F1 presenter for the Beeb now brings.
The only saving grace for ‘Auntie’ is that a couple of million or so UK F1 observers refuse to pay to watch Formula One, so they tune in for the on track action – and are prepared to suffer the rest of the broadcast which the BBC is delivering.